Nail health: These signs can warn you of a serious disease

You should always keep an eye on your body and pay attention to small changes. A visit to a doctor can save your life if you discover discolouration on your nails.

Jean Skinner is a nail designer. Recently, a client approached her and asked her to cover a strange discolouration of a nail, as it was black around the corners. Fortunately, Jean diagnosed what was going on.

Body sends signals

The client was aware that the discolouration could be hereditary, a bruise or a calcium deficiency (nails can reveal a lot about people). But Jean immediately recognised the dark streak as a sign of a dangerous melanomaand immediately sent the woman to the doctor.

It is a malignant melanoma that has already spread to the lymph nodes. Jean warn others and gives advice on what to watch out for with nails. She suggests we should watch out for abnormalities in the nail bed.

Subungual melanomas

Subungual melanomas are extremely uncommon, occurring in just 0.07 per cent to 3.5 per cent of melanoma patients worldwide. This form of melanoma differs from others because it isn't caused by exposure to the sun. However, these melanomas have the potential to spread to other regions of your body, resulting in death.

Strange changes in the nails need not always be a cause for concern. But they can be signs of a serious illness.


According to WebMD, these are the symptoms you should watch out for:

  • Dark streaks on nails
  • Lifting from the nail bed
  • Redness and swelling around nail
  • Greenish-black hue
  • ‌Pitting: tiny marks that look like they’ve been made by an icepick
  • ‌Turns yellowish
  • Seep grooves or gaps
  • Thick and overgrown nail
  • Thin and spoon-shaped nail
  • Looks like you have been picking at or pulling back on the cuticle, the skin at the bottom of your nail
  • Curved
  • Unusual colouring

In any case, families and friends should pay attention to such signs and take them seriously. In case of doubt, a doctor should always be consulted immediately.

This Serious Health Condition Can Go Undiagnosed for Years This Serious Health Condition Can Go Undiagnosed for Years