View Full Version : black area on big toe nail - is it melanoma?

01-29-2009, 01:19 PM
please help, any advice would be greatly appreciated. My partner went to his GP this week as his large toe nail has a black patch on it but he's not sure how long it's been there. He has now been referred to the hospital in just under 2 weeks time, i'm so worried it's cancer, i had a look at it with a magnifying glass last night and it fits all the descrption of a cancerous melanoma, we've got a worrying 2 week wait

01-31-2009, 12:32 PM
More than likely it is an injury. But one way to determine this is to watch it as the nail grows out. If the spot grows out with the nail - then it is an injury. If it does NOT grow out with the nail, it should be checked.

The one downside to this is that it takes time for the nail to grow and you could drive yourself crazy with worry. But remember that a biopsy on this is not going to be fun. So if you can, let it grow out some to determine if it is an injury or not.

Hoping for the best. :)

01-31-2009, 12:39 PM
hummmmm that is a strange place to have cancer. Is it right on top of the nail or is it under the nail. or is in on the skin around the nail. Sometimes if you drop something on your foot it will cause a black spot(old dried blood looks black) under the nail bed and it there until that nail grows out. The nail itself is not a living tissue so if this tiny black thing in right on top of the nail I would guess it is not cancer.

01-31-2009, 12:50 PM
Melanoma is very common in fact on the nail bed - also on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

01-31-2009, 01:50 PM
we think it's under the nail which means it's on the skin which means if the nail grows it won't make a difference, i'm so worried as you just don't expect anything nasty to grow on the toe do you? i just hope that it is nothing serious

02-02-2009, 09:03 AM
While melanoma on the nailbed is not unheard of, it is not extremely common. What is more common is simply a black spot on the nail that will grow out with the nail. It's good to get this checked out, but I would really monitor the nail in the next two weeks, if I were your partner. Even in two weeks it may be possible to determine if the spot is moving with the nail growth. (If so, as Mahnee has indicated, it is more than likely not melanoma)

For me personally - and I am the world's biggest wimp - I'd be more terrified of the biopsy than what they might find. But then as I said, I am totally wimpy! Being totally serious here: It really does help to take this one day at a time. Worrying never accomplishes anything and won't change a thing. My suggestion is to monitor the nail for growth and see what happens in 2 weeks. Do try to educate yourselves in the two weeks, so you can be on the offensive if need be.

02-03-2009, 08:57 AM
thanks for your reply, i'm really really trying not to worry (my partner is only 33) and have had support from my friends but i just can't help it - it's just me. I really want to get next week over and done with as the 'not knowing' is really stressful. I'm just hoping and praying that it's nothing serious but i know we'll be on tenter hooks next week but thanks for your advice, we'll keep an eye on the toe but i think it's been the same now for some time.

02-04-2009, 02:24 PM
do you happen to know if melanoma of the toe nail always happens in one of the big toes? it's just that i've been looking at photos of this on the net and all of the pictures show the big toe nail which is where my partner has his black patch but of all the pictures (and there were some pretty horrid ones) there was only one which slightly resembled what my partner has so am very confused!

02-04-2009, 03:49 PM
There is skin under every nail - toe or finger - and as long as there is skin, there is the possibility of developing a melanoma. Granted, the big toe has more area and is probably more apt by luck of the draw, or it is simply more visible. Still, melanoma can develop under any of a person's 10 toes.

Just a note to consider: don't set too much stock in the pictures you see on the internet. I didn't get panicky about my melanoma because it didn't look like any of the melanoma that are typically shown, and really had none of the melanoma "ABCDE"s. On the other hand, about 15 years ago I had 3 moles that perfectly fit the look and description of melanoma and insisted my doctor remove them. The biopsy on those 3 moles came back that they were just typical moles. I know pictures are posted to try to help people and to give an idea of what melanoma might look like, yes. But believe me: everyone's melanoma is their own, and I've heard a lot of people with the same tale as mine.

03-15-2009, 10:50 AM
It could be an injury - I whanged my big toe last winter and it's still black. The black part is slowly growing out, however.