schoolboy's Blog

black line in fingernail=Subungal melanoma??

Ok i know im probably jumping too far, but a thin black line appeared. At first i though it was just an injury but I have had it for about a year and it just keeps growing with the nail. I took some pictures and no .. it is not a line that i drew with a pencil.I did some research and some people say its normal, but others that it is melanoma and that it happens to people over 50... problem is im 19. So should i get it checked by the doctors?created on: 08/18/09created on: 08/18/09created on: 08/18/09

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You do indeed need to have this checked out. I've never seen a melanoma in an African American, but Melanoma does appear in the finger nails of African-Americans. African-Americans sometimes develop Melanoma on the bottom of their feet as well. I suggest you see a Dermatologist, particulary an African-American.


Haha, Thanks Pinkers. You have these vertical lines as well?  They look like school boy's? I honestly have never seen anything like this. You're right school boy. The line is perfectly straight and almost looks like it was drawn with a marker. It probably isn't melanoma, but I'm quick to tell you should have a Doc check it out because I've never seen this before. I vaguely remember in Nursing school that Melanoma tends to show up on the fingernails and the bottom of a foot in African Americans. I searched for pictures on the internet of "melanoma on fingernail" but I only found one picture and the person's entire fingernail was bluish-black. Not like this. And the internet tends to show pics of extreme cases. Most of the Dialysis patients I work with are African-American. African-Americans have deep-rooted genetics for high blood pressure and diabetes which causes their kidneys to fail. I've never seen one of my African-American patients with lines in their fingernails like this. Not trying to scare you school boy, I've just never seen this.


Thank you kjones. I went to see the doctor and he said that this line is common in african americans and that it is usually benign. However, he said that if it was to show on a caucasian persons fingernail, then the risk of it being malignant melanoma is greater. I think he called it a mole that was named longitudinal melanonychia.


Hey Schoolboy, I thought I'd check in...and I see where you went to the Doc. I'm glad it was nothing. 80% of my patients are African-American and I've never seen this. Crazy! I'll keep your story in mind if I see something like this. And Pinkers, I think your nails are OK. Purely a guess, but if you had a malignency under/on your nail, I don't think it would "come and go" as you stated yours' did. It would keep getting worse and worse I'd think. I hope! Yeah, go to the Doctor! haha


Hi, I'm Chinese Asian and 36 yrs old. I've got the same black stripe on my left index finger too! I think its benign too but does that mean i'm suppose to be African Chinese???


Omg...i have had my black line for about a year now also...and it keeps growing and growing. Is it a disease? Should we be worried? Is it having a effect on our lives? I'm not really worried, i mean i'm not sick or anything...but someone tell me should i be;:^)

I'm Caucasian and had a stripe that looked identical to this one. I credit this website and this question with scaring me into going to the Doctor to get it checked out. The dermatologist was quite concerned when she saw my nail and scheduled me to have my thumbnail removed and took three biopsy samples. 1 week later It was confirmed I did in fact have melanoma. I am having plastic surgery in 2 weeks to permanently remove the nail and the tumors, but we caught it early enough I'm going to keep my thumb. Thank you for posting this question!!!

Hi, I'm a malay-asian from Singapore and I have the exact same line on my thumb nail. I've been to a few sites and they seem to say that it is either nothing or something really serious. The thing is I've had it for about roughly 12 years now. I didn't hurt myself or anything, the line just kinda appeared one day and it continues to grow even after I've cut my nails. I don't feel sick or anything, and I've had it for so long that I kinda thought it was normal and just a part of my nail. But after reading a few cases that points to it being a disease,....should I be worried? I've had for a long time so maybe its nothing..but still...I would like to know oh and I'm 19 btw..


I will say this if you are very light skinned, I think you should go to the doctor. Let them decide if the want to do a biopsy or not. The biopsy is the only way they will know if it is serious or not. Since people with lighter skin do not make as much pigment as darker skin people it is highly likely to be melanoma rather than benign. The reason why they did not order a biopsy on me is because I was: Dark skinned (as you can see), and it never grew for the now 3 years that I have had it. Because of this it, was highly unlikely for it to be serious.  When I visited him he said I had nothing to worry about, however, if it started to change, I should go back to him immideately. If you are very light skinned I think you should go. I do plan to go back later this year , because it is actually now fading away. I have never heard of this happening -_-.


I just wanted to say that I also appreciate finding that I'm not alone.. I am caucasian, and my line looks identical to this picture:( I did see a doctor today and was sent for blood work to rule out other possibility's, and plan to see my family doctor over the next couple of days. Although I was told it could be up to a 3-4 months wait to see a dermatologist?!.. I've had the line for about 4 months and never really thought anything of it until I randomly googled it... Who'd a thunk....

In all the story's I have read, melanoma has been quite likely,, in people with lighter skin, and this line.. And better to be safe then sorry..Skin cancer is one of  the fastest spreading.. Cancer runs on both sides of my family, so I am abit scared...

All my best to others that come across the same issue...get checked!


Hello, I am Filipino and had the exact line on my left index finger which showed up at age 27 which I called it my racing stripe, I didn't see the doctor about it because it didn't bother me, well it started another black line a few years later, then my nail started getting darker and turned black then the nail didnt even grow. My wife encourage me to see the Dr. but you know how men can be stubborn, but made the appt. anyway at age 41.  They took my fingernail off to do a biopsy on it and came back as maligment melanoma.  They had to amputate my finger tip!  So please see the Dr. if it gets any worse and darkens, if I wasn't so stubborn, I probably would still have my fingertip!!


"Melanoma is less common than other skin cancers. However, it is much more dangerous if it is not found early. It causes the majority (75%) of deaths related to skin cancer.Worldwide, doctors diagnose about 160,000 new cases of melanoma yearly. It is more common in women than in men. In women, the most common site is the legs and melanomas in men are most common on the back. It is particularly common among Caucasians, especially northern Europeans living in sunny climates. There are high rates of incidence in Australia, New Zealand, North America (especially Texas and Florida), Latin America, and Northern Europe, with a paradoxical decrease in southern Italy and Sicily This geographic pattern reflects the primary cause, ultraviolet light (UV) exposure crossed with the amount of skin pigmentation in the population." - Wikipedia


I'm white and I have the same stright black line.

I went to the doctor and they took 2 tests and they said it was notthing. they said it was not cancer 

I am still worried just because I have it on my nails i have it on my finger nail and my thumb can someone who knows about this explain to me more about it should I still be scared should I go and have it removed I have another appointment with the doctor that did the biopsy in september just to check how my nail is growing because he took one of them off completely should I tell him to remove the Moe completly ???? even if it's not notthing like he said the tests came back that everything was fine notthing to worry about .


I'm just really scared and inputs to my comment here would be verry appriacted it. I really hope somone that knows about this topic can write me back or send me an email     


thats my email if you can email me or replay to my comment here that would be appriacted it thank you.



Firstly, I have very lined nails - ridges/lines......throughout all of my nails; both thumb nails have I guess fungus.  They are THICKer.  About a yr ago I noticed a small  (and it has NOT changed) roundish bluish DOT on my R-Hand ring finger.  It has NOT changed in size or color.  But I have NOTICED 2-3 other nails a dark line -  but is NOT as pronounced as the above photo.....  I have noticed that my moons are retracting.....  and jagared,  pale, almost undetectible at first loner pronounced.  

JUST A THOUGHT...........I used acrylic nails for years.......And then the drying process - under a machine that I am now assuming emites UVA to dry the acrylic onto the natural nail?  I am light, but not nearly the color of a Norweigan...  Could it be the process of artifical nails?  The fungus and brittle nails?  The light...showdow like lines in the nails?  



My thumb was smashed (no blood) hard between linking joints more than 30 years ago, and i've had the exact line   several years later. I remembered the smashed thumb, and that was the only incident I could attach the line on my thumb to. It has been there ever since. Never remember any ill effect due to the smashed thumb except for the extremely straight dark line that runs from cuticle to tip of thumb-nail.



I am half filipino half european, i noticed these lines in both my index fingers and thumbs as a teenager, then noticed my filipino cousin had them on some of his fingers, and then noticed my dad has them. I always thought it was something genetic our family had on the filipino side, and didn't think nothing of it  again, till last week, many years later. My daughter ask's me what the lines are in her toe. I just smiled. Which leads me to google which leads me to here.  No need to panic. My dad is a healthy old man, I am a healthy and so is my cousin. I thought it meant I was special, as a kid, and that's what I told my daughter : )  long life


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