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What causes black dot and streaks under toenail?

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Posted on Fri, 11 Dec 2015
Question: Could you examine the attached three pictures?
This is my wife's right big toe and has a little black spot under the nail with streaks.
Do not recall any trauma and she noticed about a month ago.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Lesion should be biopsied promptly.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

I looked at the 3 pictures you uploaded. This dark spot appears to be either a hematoma (collection of blood) under the nail from a small trauma, which is not concerning, or possibly something that is concerning such as cancer. I do not want to worry you, but do want her to take action and not just observe it for a few more weeks. I think she should see a dermatologist as soon as you can get an appointment. When making the appointment, tell the receptionist of the past cancer history. If you can't get an appointment soon, ask to talk with the dermatologist's nurse and tell her the history, including that there was no trauma noted.

As you live in the Los Angeles area, I imagine she should be able to find and get in to see a dermatologist quickly. The dermatologist will do a small biopsy of the area after making a small hole in the nail. Then he/she will be able to know what you are dealing with.

I hope this information helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions

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What causes black dot and streaks under toenail?

Brief Answer: Lesion should be biopsied promptly. Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, I looked at the 3 pictures you uploaded. This dark spot appears to be either a hematoma (collection of blood) under the nail from a small trauma, which is not concerning, or possibly something that is concerning such as cancer. I do not want to worry you, but do want her to take action and not just observe it for a few more weeks. I think she should see a dermatologist as soon as you can get an appointment. When making the appointment, tell the receptionist of the past cancer history. If you can't get an appointment soon, ask to talk with the dermatologist's nurse and tell her the history, including that there was no trauma noted. As you live in the Los Angeles area, I imagine she should be able to find and get in to see a dermatologist quickly. The dermatologist will do a small biopsy of the area after making a small hole in the nail. Then he/she will be able to know what you are dealing with. I hope this information helps.