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Old 05-31-2005, 10:38 AM   #1
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princetonsista HB User
Question Light brown line in nail/nail bed

Hi,

I'm a 19 year-old, African-American female and have had a light brown line a little to the right of the center of the pinky fingernail of my left hand for about 3 years. I just noticed it one day and it hasn't changed since the first day I noticed it. It is a well defined and consistent line, about a millimeter wide that runs the length of my nail.

I normally bite my nails and, when they are short, the line looks as though it is in my nail bed and not my nail. It is difficult to tell whether the line is in the skin or just appearing so, due to how close my nail is to the nail bed, because the line does not extend past the end of my nail when my nails are short. However, when I grow my nails longer, from time to time, the line grows with my nail.

I searched online about two years ago to find information about what the line might mean and I found a little information that basically equated nail lines/discoloration with indicators of various illnesses. However, I was never able to find that site again when I did subsequent searches.

I decided to search again today and I came across this site. In reading over some of the other posts that individuals have made and visiting the hooked-on-nails.com site that was suggested in response to one of them, I found the term "melanonychia."

I looked up this term and found much seemingly contradictory information. In short, I found that such lines can be considered common in darker-complected individuals of my race, that a single line could indicate a serious illness, that multiple lines could indicate a serious illness, and that in certain situations the lines are nothing to worry about.

I am rather befuddled by the lack of consistency in information and would like to know whether or not I should be concerned about the line in my pinky. I have not visited a doctor specifically for my nail because I have not been overly concerned with the issue--when mentioned to my regular physician in passing she was dismissive of it.

I do not recall there being a history of such lines in the nails of my family members nor a history of any of the illnesses that I have seen such a line equated to (e.g. melanoma or Hutchinson's disease). I am fairly healthy and have only been found to be somewhat anemic in the past year or so.

If I should be concerned, what should I be concerned about? If I should go to a doctor, what kind of doctor should I see (e.g. general physician, dermatologist, or another with a more specific specialty)?

Thank you for your time and information.

 
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Old 06-05-2005, 03:25 PM   #2
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princetonsista HB User
Re: Light brown line in nail/nail bed

Is there not anyone who could please offer me some advice or answers to my questions? Please?

Marti, you seem to answer a lot of posts with good information and advice. Would you be able to help me at all?

Thanks

 
Old 06-06-2005, 01:08 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 382
Ms Harriet HB User
Re: Light brown line in nail/nail bed

Quote:
Originally Posted by princetonsista
Hi,

I'm a 19 year-old, African-American female and have had a light brown line a little to the right of the center of the pinky fingernail of my left hand for about 3 years. I just noticed it one day and it hasn't changed since the first day I noticed it. It is a well defined and consistent line, about a millimeter wide that runs the length of my nail.

I normally bite my nails and, when they are short, the line looks as though it is in my nail bed and not my nail. It is difficult to tell whether the line is in the skin or just appearing so, due to how close my nail is to the nail bed, because the line does not extend past the end of my nail when my nails are short. However, when I grow my nails longer, from time to time, the line grows with my nail.

I searched online about two years ago to find information about what the line might mean and I found a little information that basically equated nail lines/discoloration with indicators of various illnesses. However, I was never able to find that site again when I did subsequent searches.

I decided to search again today and I came across this site. In reading over some of the other posts that individuals have made and visiting the hooked-on-nails.com site that was suggested in response to one of them, I found the term "melanonychia."

I looked up this term and found much seemingly contradictory information. In short, I found that such lines can be considered common in darker-complected individuals of my race, that a single line could indicate a serious illness, that multiple lines could indicate a serious illness, and that in certain situations the lines are nothing to worry about.

I am rather befuddled by the lack of consistency in information and would like to know whether or not I should be concerned about the line in my pinky. I have not visited a doctor specifically for my nail because I have not been overly concerned with the issue--when mentioned to my regular physician in passing she was dismissive of it.

I do not recall there being a history of such lines in the nails of my family members nor a history of any of the illnesses that I have seen such a line equated to (e.g. melanoma or Hutchinson's disease). I am fairly healthy and have only been found to be somewhat anemic in the past year or so.

If I should be concerned, what should I be concerned about? If I should go to a doctor, what kind of doctor should I see (e.g. general physician, dermatologist, or another with a more specific specialty)?

Thank you for your time and information.
I reeeeeeally dont want to scare you here, but here it goes and im sorry in advance!
I have problems with my nails and one day i saw a black mark under my nail, kind of like the one you have, but mine wasnt a line just a mark. and i showed my dad and he freaked out cause i guess his mom(whom ive never met) had a dark line in her thumb nail, and it turned out to be cancer and she had to get her thumb cut off. you should go get this checked out. and dont let anyone tell u its nothing serious, i lost my big toe to an infection in an ingrown toenail....small things turn big in a hurry

 
Old 06-06-2005, 06:08 AM   #4
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Location: Rosenberg, TX.
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Marti HB UserMarti HB UserMarti HB UserMarti HB UserMarti HB UserMarti HB UserMarti HB User
Re: Light brown line in nail/nail bed

If the line goes from under the skin at the cuticle and continues to the free edge, it could very well be a "nail mole" which may or may not be cancerous. You should see your physician for a proper diagnosis.

 
Old 06-07-2005, 08:29 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Sputnik HB User
Re: Light brown line in nail/nail bed

Please see a dermatologist or oncologist soon. Melanoma is a possibility. There is a particular type of melanoma that develops under the nail bed, normally the large toe or thumb nail. Often the first sign of it is a line as you described. Of course, it may not be cancer, but you really should make sure.

 
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