A DOCTOR has warned never to ignore changes in your fingernails, as they could be a sign of a deadly disease
Dr Raj Karan, and NHS doctor who has become a TikTok sensation, said one particular change in the nail could signify cancer.
He posted a reaction to another man’s video, in which he revealed a “cool streak” in his nail.
The man thought the streak was just a quirky feature of his fingernail for a decade.
However, he was then diagnosed with cancer.
Talking to his 4.7 million followers, Dr Karan said: “There could be lots of causes for a dark line on your nail, from infection, medication side effects, trauma, blood clots…
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“And one particular cause is a rare type of skin cancer called a melanoma, or in this case a subungual melanoma under the nail.
“Although this particular subtype of melanoma is quite rare, it happens in around one per cent of all melanoma cases.”
Subungual melanoma is skin cancer underneath the nails – both toes and fingers – and it is particularly difficult to detect and treat early.
People may wrongly believe they just have bruising of the nail, or not even notice a change at all.
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The nail may have a black or brown streak, separate from the nail bed, bleed, thin or crack, or have a bruise that doesn’t go away despite the nail growing.
The skin around the nail may also darken.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and is usually a result of exposure to UV rays (sunlight or tanning beds).
Caught early, melanoma skin cancer has a good survival rate – 90 per cent if the disease is detected at stage one.
But there are still a tragic 2,300 melanoma skin cancer deaths in the UK every year.
A dark streak in the nail isn’t always harmful – Dr Kan showed he had one himself on his ring finger, called a melanonychia.
He said: “It’s actually pretty common in people with darker skin.”
Melanonychia can naturally occur in African American, Hispanic, Indian, Japanese, and other dark-skinned races, WedMD reports.
It appears as multiple bands that go from the nail bed to the tip of the nail, and it may get thicker with age.
Dr Karan warned that, as with your skin, you should go to the doctor if you see a change in size, colour, or shape of the nails.
The most common sign of skin cancer is a change to a mole, freckle or normal patch of skin.
The nails can reveal a lot about a person’s health, as can the fingers.
For example, clubbed nails – when the nails become larger and curve around the fingertips – could be a sign of lung cancer.
It’s a sign that there is a lack of oxygen in the body, and could also be a result of a lung abscess or birth heart disease.
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Horizontal ridges across the nails, known as Beau’s lines, could indicate kidney problems, thyroid problems, or even mumps.
If you experience yellow or green looking nails, it could be a fungal infection, which if frequent, can be an early sign of diabetes.
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