What is racial melanonychia?

Melanonychia is a very worrisome entity for most patients. It is characterized by brownish black discoloration of nail plate and is a common cause of nail plate pigmentation. The aetiology of melanonychia ranges from more common benign causes to less common invasive and in situ melanomas.

Is melanonychia common in Asians?

Background and objectives: Melanonychia striata is common in children of darker-skinned Asian races, while subungual melanoma is extremely rare and it is difficult to make a diagnosis clinically. However, performing nail unit biopsies in children is particularly challenging and can result in permanent nail dystrophy.

Why do I get black lines in my nails?

Melanonychia is caused when the pigment cells, called melanocytes, deposit melanin — brown-colored pigment — into the nail. These deposits are usually grouped together. As your nail grows, it causes the stripe of brown or black to appear on your nail.

Why have I got black lines on my nails?

This condition is called a splinter hemorrhage because it may look like a wood splinter under your nail. The condition is caused by damaged small blood vessels underneath your nail. Characteristics include the following: It’s black or reddish brown in color.

Does melanonychia grow out?

Outlook. The outlook for most benign melanonychia is good, and in most cases, does not require treatment. However, it usually does not go away by itself.

How do you know if melanonychia is benign?

How to Tell If the Cause Is Benign. Non-cancerous longitudinal melanonychia typically has the appearance of light to dark brown stripes that are parallel and regular in color, thickness, and spacing. The border will be clearly defined and less than 3 millimeters (mm) in width, or roughly 1/10th of an inch.

Should I be concerned about melanonychia?

It can affect your fingernails or toenails. It can be in one nail, a few nails, or all of your nails. Melanonychia can have many different causes that range from harmless to potentially fatal. You should always have a doctor examine any dark streaks in your nails.

How do you know if melanonychia is cancerous?

Your doctor will look primarily for signs that your melanonychia may be malignant. The signs of possible nail melanoma include: discoloration which is more than 3 millimeters wide or has increased in size. irregular brown pigmentation.

Is melanonychia harmful?