Check Your Nails for Melanoma
Skin checks are important to look for new and growing spots on your body that could be cancerous. Another important place to check for melanoma and other skin cancers is under and around fingernails and toenails. While anyone can develop melanoma on their nails, it’s more common in older individuals and people with skin of color. A personal or family history of melanoma or previous nail trauma may also be risk factors.
When checking your nails for melanoma, look for these changes:
- A dark streak. This may look like a brown or black band in the nail — often on the thumb or big toe of your dominant hand or foot. However, this dark streak can show up on any nail.
- Dark skin next to your nail. When the skin around your nail becomes darker, it could be a sign of advanced melanoma.
- Nail lifting from your fingers or toes. When this happens, your nail starts to separate from the nail bed. The white free edge at the top of your nail will start to look longer as the nail lifts.
- Nail splitting, which occurs when a nail splits down the middle.
- A bump or nodule under your nails. You might also see a band of color on your nail. It could be wide and irregular or dark and narrow.
If you notice any changes on your fingernails or toenails and would like to schedule a consultation, you can contact Western Maryland Dermatology at (301) 777-7900 or visit us online at wmderma.com/contact where you can chat with one of our reservation specialists.