Subungual Melanoma

subungual melanoma

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What is a Subungual Melanoma? Learn more about this condition


Subungual melanoma is classified as a subtype of acral lentiginous melanoma, an uncommon form of melanoma that occurs in the glaborous skin of the palms and soles. It is a rare subtype of cutaneous melanoma that arises from the structures of the nail apparatus.

Melanoma of the nail is one of the causes of Longitudinal melanonychia – lines of parallel pigment found along the length of the nail.

Symptoms and Signs of Subungual Melanoma

The slightly pale curved area found at the base of the nail (like a quarter moon) is called the lanula and melanomas are situated under the lanula. You won’t actually see the melanoma under the lanula. Instead, the melanoma is seen as a singular brownish / black parallel line along the length of the nail from the base towards the tip.

Moreover, the pigmentation may cause the nail to split or bleed. It can be quite painful as the nail can separate from the nail bed and also cause the whole nail to deteriorate.

Who is prone in this condition?

  • It is very rare in prepubertal children and this minimises the need for nail biopsy in younger children
  • Though rare, it is one of the more common types of melanomas in people with darker skin (eg. Asian or African skin types)
  • Adults (aged between 40 and 70) commonly have this condition
  • A family history of melanoma
  • It most commonly affects the big toe or thumb nails.

It presents most commonly in older patients and at an advanced stage. Detecting subungual melanoma at an early stage potentially has a great impact on a patient’s likelihood of cure.

Are you suffering from this condition? One of our podiatrist can assist and recommend what treatment options are best to get you back on track.
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at 44 (0) 207 101 4000. 📞


We hope you have a feetastic day! 👣☀️

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team




Related Pages:

Check our latest blog about Retronychia here

Learn more about our Ingrown Toenail treatment here

Check our blog about Fungal Nails here

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Paola Ash at the Chelsea Clinic

At The Chelsea clinic we have a very specific skill set with regards the foot and ankle. Pleased to offer a bespoke service which is tailored to the individual. With over 20 years experience in the Fitness and Healthcare industry we are registered and qualified with the Health Care Professions Council, the College of Podiatry and the General Osteopathic Council.