Nail melanomas are found in the same way on the skin, but they are on the skin under the nail or vignette. This makes them less visible, especially for people who often wear dark nail polish. This is also the reason why most of the fingernail melanomas are only treated or removed when they have reached the most advanced growth stages.
Fortunately, the melanoma of the nail is usually benign, in which case a simple surgery can be done to remove the tumor from the skin. Since the nail melanoma is covered by the nail, the operation would require partial or total removal of the nail also covering it.
Everything is done under local anesthesia, so there is nothing to worry about. With the advances of modern medicine, this surgery will only last about an hour.
The first symptom of this type of skin cancer is a small dark spot that looks like a mole. Often, a nail melanoma is dark yellow, brown or black.
In rare cases, the spot is colorless, which makes it harder to detect. These types are the most risky, especially if they are clever. They can continue to grow with the person without even knowing that he has it.
To differentiate between a regular melanoma and a fingernail melanoma, you will need to observe the place for a few days or even weeks. If the size of the spot increases, there is a great chance that it is actually a nail melanoma.
Although most toenail nail melanomas are benign, this is not a certainty. You need to do a biopsy to determine the type of nail melanoma you have.
Sometimes a nail melanoma does not start as a point but as a trail, similar to the white streaks that sometimes appear on the nail after a trauma. If you notice these streaks on your nails without undergoing any kind of nail trauma, you should have your nails checked as this may be the early stages of a tumor.
Although this condition is usually called nail melanoma, it can also occur in all your other nails. They appear much more frequently on the nails and fingernails, but you should also regularly check your other nails.
Once you start noticing these changes in your nails, it's best to see a doctor right away. Melanomas are still a kind of cancer, and just like other cancers, they are more easily treated if they are detected early. In addition, as they are like any other tumor, you will have to undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy in case the Nail Melanoma turns out to be malignant.
Medical studies have shown that this particular type of melanoma, also known as acral lentiinous melanoma in the medical community, is more common among Asians and other people with darker skin. However, Caucasians are not completely risk free because there have also been several cases of fingernail melanoma in people with very fair skin over the years.