If you have this mark on your nail, get tested for skin cancer

25 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

If you have this mark on your nail, get tested for skin cancer

If you have ever had white lines or dots on your nails, you may already know that it is either because of mineral deficiency (like calcium and zinc) or due to an injury at the base of the nail. A lot of times these white lines are a result of allergic reactions or damage to the nail bed, which often won’t show up for weeks.

Apart from the above-mentioned factors, manicures and using acrylic or gel nails very frequently can also cause a significant amount of damage to your nails. In the rarest of rare cases, it may also signify deep-rooted cardiovascular problems and bad health.

The ‘mark’ of cancer

It is important to note that one should never brush off any kind of changes in fingernails, as more often than not, a person’s nails can actually tell a lot about his/her physical health. Apart from checking for inflammation, injuries and white spots, if you notice a blackish-brown stripe down the length of your nail bed, you may need to get it checked by a trained medical professional.

While the reasons can range from a clot under the fingernail to the side-effects of certain medications, the presence of a dark mark on your nails can actually signify something way more sinister.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), a black line on nails or toes might be a symptom of skin cancer. Yes, you read that right. What may look like an innocent dark line just might be a symptom of melanoma—the most serious type of skin cancer. While we are often told to look for abnormal growths, like skin tags and a mole changing colour, not a lot of people are aware that cancer can actually grow under your nails.

Also known as subungual melanoma, some of the other symptoms of this sneaky disease is as follows:

1. Brittle and weak nails

2. Bleeding around nails

3. Blackish-brownish mark which seems to be expanding

4. Change in colour of the skin around the nail

5. Pus in the pigmented part of the nail

If left untreated, subungual melanoma can spread to the other parts of the body pretty fast.

The bottom line

If you often try to cover up your discoloured nails with the help of a nail paint, this may serve as a wake-up call to see your doctor right away, especially if you notice anything suspicious around your nails.

                – Times of India