Last update: January 24, 2023, 7:07 pm IST
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in the cells that produce pigment (melanocytes). Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and is the leading cause of death from skin diseases. It is usually caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, but it can also be caused by exposure to tanning beds. Melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, but it is most commonly found on the face, legs, arms and trunk.
When checking the body for signs of skin cancer, many of us may only think of checking our skin. However, it is important to check the nails as well. Nail changes, often overlooked, can indicate a developing disease. A person’s nails can say a lot about their physical health, and if you notice a dark brown streak along the nail bed, it could be a sign of skin cancer.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer that can develop under or around fingernails and toenails. Although melanoma cancer can be diagnosed in anyone, it is more likely to occur in elderly individuals.
How to check nails for melanoma skin cancer symptoms
According to the National Institutes of Health, if deep black and beige or brown spots are visible on your fingernails or toenails, this could be a sign of melanoma cancer.
Dark skin near the fingernails:
When the skin around the nail turns dark, it could be a sign of advanced melanoma.
If the nails start to come off or if the nail separates from the nail bed, this could be a sign of cancer. The nail will grow slowly and the free white edge at the top of the nail will look longer.
The nail starts to crack in the middle. If this happens, it could be a sign of melanoma cancer.
Lump in the middle of the nails:
You may also see symptoms of lumps forming under the nails. It can be wide, deep or thin.
When to see a doctor?
If you notice any skin changes that look unusual or encounter any of the above symptoms, see your doctor immediately. However, nail melanoma is usually diagnosed at a more advanced stage than skin melanoma, and it is possible to cure the disease if diagnosed at an early stage.
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