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dermdoc19, Dermatologist
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 4069
Experience:  30 years practice in general and cosmetic dermatology
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My college age son is 1/4 Indian, but has very fair hair &

Customer Question

My college age son is 1/4 Indian, but has very fair hair & skin. I just noticed a brown band on his thumb nail. Do I need to take him to a dermatologist before he goes back to school, or can it wait til spring break? He thinks he's had the line for 9 months or so.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 1 year ago.

This is called melanonchyia. The vast majority of these are benign, most due to a mold under the nail plate. Nonetheless, I would recommend that he consult a dermatologist before going back to school.

Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 1 year ago.

The dermatologist should be able to tell whether this is a benign pigmented streak or early melanoma. A special light called a dermatoscope can help him/her do so.

Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 1 year ago.

There are signs to look for. If the edges of the pigment are sharp; if the color is even throughout the streak, if the color is not too dark....these are all signs of benign melanonchia. Also, if there is no pigment spilling up on the skin ( Hutchinson's sign)..that is good. If the streak does not expand...that is good.

Expert:  dermdoc19 replied 1 year ago.

It would be wise to photograph it. This way, photographs can be compared.