Why does my toenail have black streaking?




Many patients come in concerned that there is some danger with their toenail because there is a black streak on it.  The first thing you need to look at is how long the black streak has been there. Is it something new or has it been there since you were born? If it’s brand new then we’re more concerned about it and we may have to take a sample or a biopsy of that toenail to see if there’s a problem.  If it’s been there your whole life, look at really what type of a descent you are from.  If you have more of an African American descent, it tends to be more common in that type of a population. If you are concerned, you should see a dermatologist or a podiatrist to have an evaluation.  You can take a simple trimming of the area, but more commonly what is necessary is to do a biopsy of the nail to make sure that there is no problem. Normally these are just pigment changes, but occasionally they can be a melanoma, so it is something that you should get checked out.

To Your Health,
Dr. Donald Pelto