Subungual melanoma (aka nail melanoma) is, as its nickname suggests, a skin cancer that occurs under the nail. It affects 0.7 to 3.5 percent of people with melanoma. Rare as it is, it’s important to know about its telltale sign: a dark black or brown line across a finger- or toenail, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
Sadly, Skinner’s hunch was correct – and the prognosis wasn’t good. The client called later to tell her she had aggressive melanoma that had spread to her lymph nodes. (Check these 8 ways to get fitter after cancer treatment).
A black band isn’t the only skin cancer symptom that could be hiding under your nail polish. Other signs of nail melanoma include darkened skin around the nail, blood, pus and splits in the nail, according to the AAD. Early diagnosis could be crucial, so see your doctor right away if you happen to notice a dark mark under your fingernail or any other suspicious symptoms.
Now that you’re looking at your own hand, check out these secrets and myths of hair and nails.