Terrible things happen to human fingernails in space: what scientists have discovered
Humans evolved on Earth and are accustomed to this environment. If you go into space, the human body undergoes significant changes, and this will negatively affect your health and well-being. First of all, there is a loss of bone and muscle density, as well as problems with vision and urination.
However, the space environment has the greatest impact on the quality of astronauts' nails. ScienceAlert has published a study on this issue.
Onycholysis is the separation of the nail plate from the soft tissues of the finger phalanx. This is the disease that occurs in those who have been in outer space. All this happens because of the low ambient pressure, which negatively affects humans.
To protect yourself as much as possible, the spacesuit must be completely sealed. According to the astronaut team, when the sleeves are under pressure, they restrict movement and create discomfort during tasks, which leads to pain, muscle fatigue, and more serious illnesses such as onycholysis.
Scientists noted that changing gloves and their design did not improve the situation. In 2010, a team of researchers studied 232 hand injuries reported by astronauts and found that spacesuit gloves restricted knuckle mobility, which put more pressure on the fingers, leading to reduced blood flow and tissue damage.
Space suit gloves consist of at least four layers:
- the first layer, which is in contact with the skin;
- a layer that inflates and becomes rigid when the gloves are under pressure;
- a restrictive layer to counteract stiffness and allow movement;
- a thermal layer that protects against the external environment.
According to scientists, most injuries occur on the middle finger. The size of the gloves and the length of the middle finger are also important. Onycholysis is more likely in women than in men.
Fortunately, scientists are working on new spacesuits that will protect astronauts from the terrible disease.
Earlier, OBOZ.UA published the discovery of scientists that there may be "life zones" on Mercury.