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    What do black stripes on the nail bed indicate?

Posted on Tue, 25 Jul 2017 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: My name is Harshad and I have a brother who is working in Oman. he is 33 years old and has habiting of biting nails since childhood. recently he noticed that there is a black stripe of line in his nail bed. He is afraid if this could be a sign of cancer as he read somewhere about this sign. Request you to kindly opine on the same. I shall attach the pic of his nail for your reference.
Answered by Dr. Asmeet Kaur Sawhney 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Longitudinal melanonychia and its causes

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for being at HealthcareMagic
I have gone through your complaints as well as reviewed the attached photograph.
It seems to be longitudinal melanonychia.
It is a common variant in dark skinned persons but is considered abnormal in white people.
It has various causes , most common being racial variation.
Other less common causes are certain drugs, skin diseases like lichen planus, fungal infection, trauma ( nail biting in your brothers case), subungual naevi, squamous cell carcinoma and rarely malignant melanoma.
Your brother's nail is slightly disfigured, probably due to the habit of nail biting but I can appreciate some blackish discolouration on the proximal nail fold which seems little abnormal.
I would recommend you to consult a dermatologist and get it examined clinically and go for a biopsy if required.
Dr Asmeet
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
Answered by
Dr. Asmeet Kaur Sawhney


Practicing since :2007

Answered : 4447 Questions


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