Melanoma is a form of cancer that originates in the cells of an individual's skin that contain pigments called melanocytes. Subungual describes the area just underneath the fingernail. When cancer begins in the cells that form the nail matrix, it is called subungual melanoma. While most forms of melanoma are known to be the result of excessive sun exposure, subungual melanoma more often is related to trauma and or injury to the nail. A subungual melanoma diagnosis is made with a physical examination and tissue biopsy. Early detection of any melanoma is imperative, as melanoma is known to be aggressive and spread quickly to other parts of the body. The only available treatment for subungual melanoma is surgical removal of the cancerous cells and or amputation of all or part of the affected finger.
Numerous symptoms can indicate the presence of subungual melanoma. Get to know them now.
Brown Or Black Streaks Under The Nail
The most common symptom of subungual melanoma is brown or black streaks under the nail. The stripes that appear with subungual melanoma run vertically. These stripes often first appear very similar to what a subungual hematoma or an accumulation of blood under the nail looks like, causing it to often be detected at an advanced stage. A subungual hematoma only happens following some sort of injury or trauma, where there is no explanation for the appearance of subungual melanoma. A subungual hematoma will grow out as the new nail grows in from the matrix, but the discoloration from a subungual melanoma will not grow out as new nail comes in. Instead of appearing in more of an irregular shape like subungual hematoma, a subungual melanoma appears in the form of an organized stripe that begins at the bottom of the nail and can extend past the upper end of a nail. The streaks from subungual melanoma may appear a lighter brown or blue in some patients.
Continue reading to reveal more symptoms of subungual melanoma now.