Medical Specialty >> Dermatology

Doctors Lounge - Dermatology Answers

Back to Dermatology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Dark line on fingernail

 Shanachie - Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:38 am

I've had a dark line on my middle fingernail for more than a year now. I did not pay any attention to it because my wife is asian with dark skin and has this too. Apparently this is quite common among dark-skinned people. I became worried when someone told me that for people with white skin it is unusual and can be a sign of melanoma.
is this true? I have provided a link below with a photo showing the discoloration streak. Should I be worried? I have no further symptoms. I am 54 years old.
hoping for a reply........
thanks in advance.... (concerned)
 Dr.M.jagesh kamath - Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:41 am

User avatar Hello,Longitudinal melanonychia are quite common in dark skinned.Melanoma in situ are rare in the population.Breath of 3mm or more,significant darkening in a short time,involvement of the dominant hand,Huchinsons sign in which the pigment enters the periunguinal skin ie is the nail folds,all need dermoscopic evaluation which is simple and non invasive.Those suspected would need a biopsy.While it may be a simple LM it would be prudent to get evaluated to be sure and get biopsied if required.Best wishes.
 Shanachie - Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:21 am

thanks Dr. Jagesh kamath,
I will get it looked at, although I have always had many pigment spots on my skin (these never really change). My general skin tone is white (very pale).
Thanks for repsonding to this
 Dr.M.jagesh kamath - Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:26 am

User avatar Hello,I guess you are fine and should not have anything to worry.But that should not prevent you from getting evaluated just to make sure.Best wishes.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us