Black lines appear in the nails, what is going on

Moles are very common in real life, and everyone will have more or less moles on their bodies. Moles are abnormal tissues that appear during human development. The vast majority of moles can coexist peacefully with people, but moles in some special parts are prone to cancer, which needs our attention. Among them, it is very easy to overlook the nail mole.

What is nail nevus
Our nails can grow because of the existence of nail matrix. It is located at the root of the nail. Although we cannot observe it directly, it is the source of nail growth. The cells produced by the nail matrix constitute the nail plate that we can see with the naked eye. Moles that appear in the nail matrix area are what we call nail mother nevi.

The most common symptom of nail mother nevi is nail black line, which is a single or multiple longitudinally distributed brown or black pigmented strips that appear in single or multiple nails, extending from the nail matrix to the distal nail plate. A single or multiple nails are involved.

Not all nail black lines are nail moles
Although longitudinal black line is a common symptom of mother nail nevus, it is not completely equal to mother nail nevus. A black line can occur in all age groups, and is more common in dark-skinned people and adults. It is caused by the presence of melanin in the nail plate. Generally speaking, the melanocytes in the nail matrix area are in a stable state. There are two main reasons for the formation of the nail black line: the activation of melanocytes and the proliferation of melanocytes.

If the melanocytes are activated, the number of melanocytes does not increase. There are many reasons and diseases that can cause melanocyte activation, such as trauma, inflammation, infection, physical or chemical stimulation and other factors. Melanocyte activation is more common in adults. Melanocyte hyperplasia refers to the increase in the number of melanocytes, leading to the accumulation of local melanin, thereby forming a black line, which is not uncommon in children and adolescents.

In addition, there are many reasons for the black line, such as systemic pigmented disease, onychomycosis, pigmentation caused by drugs, nutrient deficiency (such as vitamin B12 deficiency), etc., so it needs to be identified and comprehensively diagnosed by a professional doctor.

Will the mole of the nail be malignant?
In recent years, due to factors such as film and television works and the popularity of the Internet, the awareness rate of melanoma among the population has increased. Since melanoma is also common under the nails, most people panic about the appearance of the nail black line, and even think that it is a malignant melanoma when they see the nail black line. This view is extremely wrong! Although there is a possibility of malignant transformation of nail mother nevi, not all nail mother nevi are malignant, and most nail mother nevi are benign. As long as they are “stable” and there are no obvious changes, patients only need to follow up and observe, and there is no need to worry too much.

Malignant signs of nail nevus
The malignant change of a mother’s mole will have some dangerous signs, we should learn to distinguish it, and seek medical treatment if necessary.

1. The width of the black line is greater than 5 mm.

2. The edge of the mole is not neat and has no obvious outline.

3. There are obvious changes in the black line in the short term, such as darkening of color, uneven pigmentation, and widening of width.

4. Nails cracked, and abnormal symptoms such as local skin itching, flushing, dark spots, erosions and so on.

If the above symptoms occur, it is necessary to be highly vigilant whether there is a possibility that the nail nevus may deteriorate to melanoma.

How to deal with nail nevi
Usually, subungual melanin activation does not require special treatment, and regular follow-up is enough. Adults who have a black line should seek medical attention in time and get a biopsy if necessary to determine the cause.

Most people have doubts about nail removal biopsy, surgical treatment, etc., and also worry about postoperative aesthetic problems. We need to change these misconceptions. Nail mother nevi is caused by trauma, and the rate of malignant transformation is relatively low, but if it is caused by other factors, such as long-term irritation, it is recommended to be removed and undergo pathological examination. It is not recommended to treat by freezing, laser, drug corrosion, etc., this is mainly because the surgical resection recovers quickly, the treatment is complete, and the scar is relatively small. If the treatment is not completed by other treatment methods, the unremoved mole cells have a great probability of Malignant change due to stimulation.

Dermoscopy can be used to differentiate melanocyte proliferative lesions from non-melanocyte lesions (such as subungual hemorrhage) or melanocyte activating lesions. However, it cannot replace histopathological diagnosis. Pathological examination can be performed after surgical resection to further confirm the diagnosis. If problems are found, they can be remedied in time. Effective pathological examinations cannot be performed through freezing, laser, or drug corrosion, which may easily lead to missed diagnosis.

In short, once you find that there is a black line, don’t panic. It is unnecessary to talk about the “black” color becoming bigger. Nail female moles are also a kind of moles. Since they are moles, they are benign in most cases, but we still need to be alert to the risk of malignant transformation, and observe closely, follow up regularly, pay attention to signs of malignant transformation, and conduct surgical intervention if necessary. .