Black Lines on Fingernails?


Dark or black lines or streaks can be a serious sign of an underlying disorder or condition. If dark lines or streaks appear on the surface of your nail and you have not had recent trauma to the nail, you should visit your doctor or healthcare professional immediately to rule out serious health concerns.

Dark stripes can be a sign of subungual melanoma, a form of skin cancer that impacts the nail bed. Sunbungual melanoma generally only affects a single nail, and can cause the nail and surrounding pigmentation to darken over time. Small, thin vertical lines under the nail bed can be a symptom of heart conditions such as endocarditis and vasculitis. In these cases, black lines in the nails occur as a symptom in the later stages of the disease, so it is vitally important to seek out treatment as soon as possible.

It should be noted that it is fairly common for people with darker skin complexions to occasionally have dark streaks running down their nails, however, it's probably better to err on the side of safety and check in with your doctor if lines appear.
1 Additional Answer Answer for: Black Lines on Fingernails
Nail Abnormalities
Normal, healthy nails appear smooth and have consistent coloring. As you age, you may develop vertical ridges, or your nails may be a bit more brittle. This is harmless. Spots due to injury should grow out with the nail. Abnormalities—such as spots, discoloration, and nail separation—can result from injuries to the fingers and hands,. . . More »
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