Nailing it – how your nail polish could be hiding a nasty secret

What lies beneath...?
What lies beneath...?

Your nail polish may be hiding sinister signs. If you develop a dark line on a toenail or fingernail, you might think it’s a bruise and cover it with polish, but in some cases it may be a type of skin cancer.

"Subungual melanoma originates under the nail in the nail bed," explains Dr Suchitra Chinthapalli, a consultant dermatologist at The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic.

"They often appear as a dark brown or black streak down the nail and most commonly affect the big toe or thumb.

"We don’t know why they occur, but they are more common where there’s a family history."

Not every mark on the nail is concerning, "but still, it’s important to get any new discolouration of your nails, or the skin around them, that doesn’t soon resolve, reviewed just in case," says Dr Chinthapalli.

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