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Diagnosed with melanonychia. Is biopsy needed?

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Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1390 Questions
Hi, i went to a skin doctor to look at my nails which had bands.. he took a biopsy of the nail and came back benign. THEY CALLED IT MELANICHIA then he called me and asked me to go to a orthopedic and get a biopsy of the matrix. I went to the orthopedic and he told me not to to the biOPsy that it was not necessary.
Posted Tue, 22 Jan 2013 in Skin Cancer
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 1 hour later
Thanks for writing in.
The presence of pigmented bands over nails is called longitudinal melononychia.
It is a common and harmless condition.
It is a clinical diagnosis and biopsy is not needed.
Only differential of this is Subungual is a type of skin cancer.Its appearance is however different.It is characterized by pigmentation of lateral nail fold.
If you can upload the photographs of the affected nail it would be of great help.
Upload the photographs and we can continue the discussion here.
I would be available for follow up.
Dr Sudarshan
MD dermatologist.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with melanonychia. Is biopsy needed? 6 hours later
being that i went to an orthopedic for a biopsy of the matrix he told me no. that it was not necessary... what do you think. he said that this was a condition. That he seen many of different patients.. do they know what they are looking for
Answered by Dr. Sudarshan 16 hours later
Hi again,
As discussed previously if you have LONGITUDINAL MELANONYCHIA, it is benign condition and biopsy is not needed.It is common change in nails and it does not need treatment.
If you need any further clarification please let me know.
Hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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