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Old 01-26-2009, 05:31 AM   #1
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what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

 
Old 01-27-2009, 05:17 AM   #2
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

It depends entirely on if it runs the entire length from cuticle to free edge. If so, you should see your dermatologist as it could be a nail malanoma growing in the matrix.

 
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:07 AM   #3
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marti View Post
It depends entirely on if it runs the entire length from cuticle to free edge. If so, you should see your dermatologist as it could be a nail malanoma growing in the matrix.
can you explain what a nail malanoma is? i have a white line running the entire length of my nail and i'm wondering what it could be. thanks.

 
Old 01-31-2009, 05:15 AM   #4
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

A nail melanoma is a growth in the matrix where the nail plate cells are developed. the result is always a brown line that runs from under the proximal nail fold to the free edge. A white line is more than likely a ridge on the nail bed. The nail plate rides forward on the nail bed upon a series of 'rails and grooves' much like a train rides forward on its tracks. As we age, the 'rails' become apparent on the nail plate surface as ridges. Sometimes you can feel the ridges, sometimes you can just see them under the nail plate.

 
Old 02-02-2009, 10:19 AM   #5
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

but my nail hurts when pressure is applied. why is this?

 
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:40 AM   #6
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

Because the underlying nail bed 'ridge' is swollen and is trying to push up through the nail plate. If you are concerned, please see your dermatologist.

 
Old 02-03-2009, 08:37 AM   #7
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

Ok, thanks for the information. I was planning on seeing a dermatologist and I will for sure now.

 
Old 03-23-2009, 07:47 PM   #8
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

I do hope you've seen your dermatolagist. Too often this symptom is dismissed as some sort of fungal infection or benign mole, which in most cases it is...but in rare instances it's not. I know this because I had done the same. One year later I was diagnosed with a very rare skin cancer "subungual melanoma." I was fortunate in that the melanoma had only gotten to stage 1 and I was able to escape with only a part of my fingertip lost to surgery...I could have lost my life. My doctor's tell me I am very lucky.

 
Old 03-25-2009, 06:45 PM   #9
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

What most people don't understand is that ANY change in the nail plate is cause for concern. This is one reason why they ask women to remove any nailpolish or nail enhancements when having surgery. The doctors monitor changes in the nail plate during surgery as most health problems show up in the nail plate first. I'm glad you wnet to see your physician and got this taken care of. Most changes in the nail plate are medical conditions and need to be properly diagnosed and treated by a physician - preferably by a dermatologist if it is fingernails and a podiatrist if it is toenails.

 
Old 03-28-2009, 07:41 AM   #10
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

I have a similar problem. I can't remember for exactly for how long I have a dark brown line on my thrumb. But i think it is probably less than a year. I am 33 years Asian famale. After reading a lot articles, I am very concerned it could be a kind of dangerous skin cancer like the lady mentioned above. The problem is I am 9 months pregnant now, should I wait after the delivery to see a dermatolagist or should i schedule something now?

 
Old 03-28-2009, 10:41 PM   #11
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

Given my experience I think you should just have it looked at. Once they've determined whether or not you'll need a biopsy you can discuss your options with the doctor. Of course I can only advise through my own experience but going to see your dermatologist can't hurt you and perhaps you will be given peace of mind. Has the color of the nail fold changed? How thick is the line?
I am also much younger than the average age associated with this particular cancer so don't let your youth determine your actions. While it could be something very benign, you must make sure. Good luck.
Lisa

 
Old 03-29-2009, 07:15 AM   #12
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

Thanks very much for your reply. The black line on my nail is very thin about 1mm. I scheduled with the doctor this Thursday. Could I ask after you did the biopsy, what kind of the surgery did you have? Removing the fingernail? I read a lot about this in Chinse reports as well. It seems there are various stages. In the begining, the dark line could be just a black nail mole which they suggest observation. Also some said biopsy could cause potential spread of the cell if it is dangerous one. They suggest do the sugery first and do the biopsy.

I am in Houston, TX. Do you have any recommended doctors here you know?

Thanks !

 
Old 03-29-2009, 08:23 AM   #13
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

Lisa,

Also what did the doctor said about after the surgery the probability of recurring?

Thanks .. I am so scared now.

Angie

Last edited by moderator2; 04-02-2009 at 01:06 PM. Reason: please do not post pictures - as per the posting policy

 
Old 03-30-2009, 12:23 AM   #14
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

Hi Angie,
I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this. Remember, the majority of these things are completely benign. I am certainly not medically qualified to give advice but I am happy to share my experience. Mine started out as two thin lines that got progressively thicker and darker within the year. By the time I went to the doctor, almost half my nail was black.
I am thrilled that they did the first of several biopsies before they went to do anything drastic and this is why, the first biopsy only ivolved taking a small bit of nail and nail bed. To be honest it hurt quite a bit but it was worth knowing for sure. Had it not been malignant, which most are not, I would have gone through a disfiguring surgery and long recovery process for nothing. Only when my pathology came back malignant did I agree to the surgery to remove all of the nail and nail matrix down to the bone. Once that was done, my plastic surgeon took over and reconstructed the fingertip with a skin graft. I got the results of the last of my pathologies a week later which showed clear margins. The odds of a recurrance are minuscule, I'll still have to go back to the surgical oncologist several times just to make sure but that's really just a precaution. I will however be much more stringent about visits to the dermatologist from here on in.
The healing process is very slow and for a while it was realy painful (I am 5 weeks post-surgery) and it requires a lot of care...right now it still looks awful but certainly it looks better than it did 5 weeks ago. I am told it will look much better in time and I will have a prosthetic fingertip with a nail made when it has completely healed (fits on like a thimble, looks totally real). All in all it doesn't seem like much of a sacrifice considering...
I actually do have a friend who is a surgeon in Houston, I can ask him who he reccommends. I am in NY so all of my doctors are in Manhattan. If I find someone for you I'll let you know. In the meantime know that you are absolutely doing the right thing by seeing your doctor right away. Good luck and feel free to ask as many questions as you'd like. Please let me know how it goes.
Lisa

 
Old 04-01-2009, 04:15 PM   #15
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Re: what does it mean to have a black line down fingernail

Lisa,

Thanks so much for quickly response. Your experience is quite encouraging. I am so glad to hear that the odds of recurrance are very slim. So like you said, if they could completely restore your figurenail and matrix, the sacrifice is worthwhile. I have to reschedule my appointment with the doctor next week due to the fact that I have just had my first baby this Monday. Everything is a mess now and I don't have the energy to go out for the first week.

I appreciated a lot for your information and help. Yes. If you have some ecommended doc in Houston area, could you refer me to? So far there is a dark line on my right hand thrumb which has been there for at least a year long now. But my other fingers also has some dark sign, but not the line, so I definitely have to check quickly.

Again, thanks very much for sharing your experience with me.

Thanks,

Angie

Last edited by moderator2; 04-01-2009 at 06:34 PM. Reason: please do not post your email address in the public forums - instead, use the private messaging system

 
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