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Subungual Melanoma

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Updated February 12, 2014

Definition:

Subungual melanoma is a specific type of melanoma that occurs under the nail bed more commonly in dark-skinned people. Subungual melanoma causes a dark colored stripe that runs along the length of the nail plate , not across the nail. Just having a dark nail stripe is not necessarily melanoma. The following Signs make it more likely that a dark stripe is a subungual melanoma and should be evaluated by a dermatologist:

  • Hutchinson's Sign - Spread of pigmentation into the nail folds
  • Pigmentation in a single digit
  • Occurs at age 50 or older
  • Occurs in the thumb, index finger, or great toe
  • Blurred borders
  • History of melanoma

 

Pronunciation: sub-UN-gwul mel-uh-NO-muh • (noun)

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