How can you tell the difference between toenail fungus and melanoma?

If you have nail fungus, some symptoms that differentiate from melanoma include: thickened nail bed. white, yellow, or greenish discoloration.

What does melanoma look like under the toenail?

Subungual melanoma often starts as a brown or black streak under a toenail or fingernail. A person may mistake it for a bruise. The main symptoms of subungual melanoma include: brown or black streaks in the nail without any known injury.

How do I know if I have toe melanoma?

It's often slow and painless growth makes it tricky to catch early. Learn the signs and when to seek urgent treatment. We suspect melanoma from a pigmented spot that starts at the bottom of the nail next to the cuticle and makes a black streak on the toenail as it grows out toward the tip of the toe.


What does melanoma on big toe look like?

Aside from looking like a changing mole, a melanoma on the foot can appear as a: Brown or black vertical line under a toenail. Pinkish-red spot or growth. New spot or growth where you injured your foot.

Where does melanoma under nail start?

In 75% to 90% of reported cases, subungual melanomas have been found in the thumb and the big toe. But they can be seen in other toes and fingers.


Is It Toenail Fungus, Trauma, or Something Else?



What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?

Stage IA Melanoma: The melanoma tumor is less than 1.0 millimeter thick (less than the size of a sharpened pencil point) with or without ulceration (broken skin) when viewed under the microscope. Stage IB Melanoma: The melanoma tumor is more than 1.0 millimeter and less than 2.0 millimeters thick without ulceration.

Does nail melanoma grow out?

Many people first mistake subungual melanoma as a bruise. However, unlike a bruise, the streaks from subungual melanoma do not heal or grow out with the nail over time.

Is melanoma flat or raised?

The most common type of melanoma usually appears as a flat or barely raised lesion with irregular edges and different colours. Fifty per cent of these melanomas occur in preexisting moles.

How fast does foot melanoma spread?

Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as 6 weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun. Nodular melanoma is a highly dangerous form of melanoma that looks different from common melanomas.


How does foot melanoma start?

Like melanoma that occurs in other parts of the body, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays is the most common cause of foot melanoma. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, exposure to excessive sunlight and tanning bed use as a teen or young adult significantly increases your risk for melanoma.

How does nail melanoma start?

Melanoma of the nail unit originates from activation and proliferation of melanin producing melanocytes of the nail matrix. Injury or trauma may be a factor, accounting for the greater incidence in the big toe and thumb (75–90% of cases).

What does a fungus toenail look like?

Nail fungus can cause the nail to become thick or ragged and appear yellow, green, brown or black. An infected nail may separate from the nail bed. Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail.

Can nail melanoma be cured?

Subungual melanoma is treated surgically. Your doctor will first remove your entire nail and then remove the growth. To date, surgery is the only viable treatment method for this type of melanoma.


What does dark spots on toenails mean?

Spots or discolorations on or under a toenail could be bruises resulting from trauma to the nail, blood blisters, warts, or even subungual melanoma, a type of skin cancer, says Ami Sheth, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Los Gatos, California, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.

When should I see a doctor about toenail fungus?

Fungal nail infections can get worse over time. See your doctor if you notice your nail has turned brown or black, if it suddenly hurts, or if it pulls away from the nail bed.

Does toenail fungus look like a bruise?

If the spot is black and shiny, it is likely a bruise and less likely toenail fungus, especially if you recall when or why that bruising might have occurred (example, if you stubbed your toe). If the discoloration is yellow, gray, or greenish in tint, it is more likely a toenail fungus infection.

What can be mistaken for melanoma?

Top 5 Conditions Often Mistaken For Skin Cancer
  • Psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition that is believed to be related to an immune system problem, which causes T cells to attack healthy skin cells by accident. ...
  • Seborrheic Keratoses (Benign tumour) ...
  • Sebaceous hyperplasia. ...
  • Nevus (mole) ...
  • Cherry angioma.


What did your melanoma look like?

Melanoma borders tend to be uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges, while common moles tend to have smoother, more even borders. C is for Color. Multiple colors are a warning sign. While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black.

What is considered early detection of melanoma?

Early melanomas often have uneven borders. They may even have scalloped or notched edges. Common moles are usually a single shade of brown or black. Early melanomas are often varied shades of brown, tan or black.

What are the 5 warning signs of melanoma?

The "ABCDE" rule is helpful in remembering the warning signs of melanoma:
  • Asymmetry. The shape of one-half of the mole does not match the other.
  • Border. The edges are ragged, notched, uneven, or blurred.
  • Color. Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. ...
  • Diameter. ...
  • Evolving.


What Colour are melanomas?

Melanoma often contains shades of brown, black, or tan, but some can be red or pink, such as the one shown here.


What is the texture of melanoma?

In more advanced melanoma, the texture of the mole may change. The skin on the surface may break down and look scraped. It may become hard or lumpy. The surface may ooze or bleed.

Is a black toenail serious?

A person should see a doctor if they experience a sudden, unexplainable black toenail, or if it does not heal with time and at-home treatments. In cases of trauma or injury, the discolored part of the nail will disappear as the nail grows out.

What is the black spot under my toenail?

If your toenail turns black, it's most likely a bruise under the nail, technically called a subungual hematoma. You can get it from stubbing a toe or from footwear that cram your feet into the front of the shoe.

Is a toenail biopsy painful?

Dermatologists as a general rule don't like to take biopsies of the nail unit, as they are difficult to prepare for and require a special setup. Nail biopsies can slow down the pace of your clinic, and the procedure is painful and inconvenient for the patient.”
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