Last updated: January 24, 2023, 7:07 PM IST
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that arises in the cells that produce pigment (melanocytes). Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and is the leading cause of death from skin disease. It is usually caused by exposure to UV rays from the sun, but can also be caused by exposure to tanning beds. Melanoma can develop on any part of the body, but it is most common on the face, legs, arms, and trunk.
When checking the body for signs of skin cancer, many of us may only think of checking our skin. However, it is important to check the nails as well. The changes in nails, which are often ignored, may indicate a developing disease. A person’s nails can tell a lot about their physical health, and if you notice a black-brown streak running the length of your nail bed, it could be a sign of skin cancer.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer that can develop under or around the fingernails and toenails. Although melanoma cancer can be diagnosed in anyone, it is most likely to occur in older individuals.
How to check the nails, to detect the symptoms of melanoma skin cancer
According to the National Institutes of Health, if beige or brown, deep black streaks are visible on the nails of the hand or toe fingers, it may be a sign of melanoma cancer.
Dark skin near nails:
When the skin around your nail turns dark in color, it could be a sign of advanced melanoma.
If the nails start to come out or if the nail separates from the nail bed, this could be a sign of cancer. The nail will slowly grow upwards and the white free edge at the top of your nail will appear longer.
The nail begins to crack from the center. If this happens, it could be a sign of melanoma cancer.
Lump in the middle of nails:
You may also see symptoms of clumping under the nails. It can be wide, deep or thin.
When to see a doctor?
If you notice any skin changes that seem unusual or if you find any of the above symptoms, you should consult your doctor immediately. However, nail melanoma is often diagnosed at a more advanced stage than cutaneous melanoma. It is possible to cure the disease if diagnosed at an early stage.
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