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Subungual melanoma

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What is a subungual melanoma?

Subungual melanoma are a cancer of the nail linked to the tissues of the nail bed. They usually present as dark streaks that run along the length of the nail and can be black, brown, blue, or multiple colours, but not always.

They can often be mistaken for bruises. Bruised nails are much more common, but usually grow out as the nail grows. Melanoma can extend into the cuticle too, the skin at the base of the nail, this is called a Hutchinson’s sign. It may also cause deformity of the nail and skin around it.

How can I help myself?

There are many skin and nail problems that can be mistaken as melanoma, so please try not to worry. As with moles, keeping an eye on your nails for any signs or changes in colour is important. Taking pictures to help monitoring over time may be useful too.

When to see a Podiatrist?

If you are concerned about a nail, why not get it checked out by your GP or a Podiatrist. A podiatrist will be able to assess you and advise and if concerned will send you in the right direction for further testing. Some Podiatrists are also trained to use special skin microscopes or cameras which enable them to examine the nail marks more thoroughly. See the directory for podiatrists in your area.

Subungual melanoma
Subungual melanoma