Skin cancer signs can sometimes appear on your nails, which may indicate you need to see a doctor as soon as possible, experts have said. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, patients should make an effort to check themselves for signs of skin cancer, particularly in their nails.
Skin cancer, including melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – can develop under and around the fingernails and toenails, although it is scarce. It is more shared in older people, but can impact younger people too.
However, if found earlier it is very treatable. If not, it can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious medical issues. In a bid to help you, we’ve researched what signs to look out for according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
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Things you should look out for
- A dark streak – This may look like a brown or black band in the nail, and often appears on the thumb or big toe of your principal 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 progressive melanoma, according to doctors.
- 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 – This occurs when the 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 thin.
Nail melanoma is typically diagnosed at a more progressive stage than melanoma on the skin, which makes it more dangerous for your health. If you notice any changes to your nails, including a new dark band on your nail, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist.
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