Written by Lisa Allen | Edited by Dr Mark Kapnoudhis
The fingers are a very prominent part of any person’s anatomy and any defects are bound to be noticed immediately by most people. More than defects that can be hidden it is things like black lines on your fingernails that simply cannot be camouflaged and in most instances portend a deeper malaise.
A person that takes good care of his health and one that particularly take immediate notice of small signs that body sends out would never cause the darkening or scouring of the fingernails.
Marks and lines on the fingernails point more serious conditions in most instances. With a number of diseases the lines on the fingernails are the first visible sign that the body puts out and it would be wise to seek proper medical help to minimize sickness or possible fatal conditions.
Black Lines On The Fingernails Causes
- Fungal infections: In most fungal infections of the fingernail and the palm of the hand, the fingernails are the first to put out signs. The growth of fungi points to a breakdown of the body’s immune system and could mean much more than just black streaks across the nails.
- Bleeding: It is possible that there could be internal bleeding underneath the fingernails. This could happen due to external trauma in most instances and is a sign that the injury is more localized than a deep issue. If a couple of weeks rest to the palms does not produce any appreciable change to the condition of the fingernails, it is best advised to consult a medical practitioner.
- Nutrition: When there is improper diet and deficiencies occur in the minerals and vitamins intake, it is possible that dark lines do form on the fingernails. It could be that a proper attention to the food intake is not paid heed to or that there would be conditions that prevent proper assimilation of ingested food.
- Injury: Lines across the fingernails can be signs that the finger has been injured. If there is the accompanied blood clot, then the condition becomes more serious and needs further attention of a doctor. If sufficient stress is placed on the fingernails it could even pry off the finger and the lines are the first sign that injury has occurred.
- Psoriasis: One of the most common accompanying signs that follow the condition is the marking of the fingernails. As most Psoriasis has not permanent cure, it is best advised to manage the particular condition be using things like an ice pack that will give relief to any discomfort. In this particular case, the discoloration of the fingernails could well be an accompanying factor than being the most prominent sign.
- Medications: It could be possible that people that use a number of medications can complain of streaks on the fingernails. In most cases the discontinuation of the concerned medication can reverse the condition as well. Thus a colored nail must be referred to a doctor to help know if a medication is the culprit.
- Heart disease: There are a number of instances when a possible condition of the heart could manifest itself as a line or streak across the fingernails. This makes it important that such early signs are not ignored at any cost and a proper investigation of the condition be carried out. Often it is possible that various serious conditions of the body are given out as simple problems that occur on the extremities.
More Causes – Symptoms, Treatment And Prevention
- Symptoms: Dark lines across the finger followed by pigmentation of the border areas of the finger with the nails. The discoloration is larger than a band of 3millimeter. There is a deepening of the discoloration with time followed by appearance of the bands across more than a single finger or toe.
- Treatment: A biopsy is done to confirm that it is indeed Melanoma. Then the first step is to restrict the condition to the lesions formed already. Further the diseases tissue and nail is removed surgically either with the use of a scalpel of just gently scrapped off. A good margin must be provided to ensure that the situation does not get out of control.
- Prevention: The most effective way of preventing this condition is to restrict the exposure to sunlight. In case it is necessary that the person needs to be out in the sun for long extended periods of time, then proper use of suntan and sun screens must be resorted to.
- Symptoms: This condition is characterized by dark lines with deeper pigmentation across the tissue near the nails. Often there could be clots that are formed in the very periphery of the nails too.
- Treatment: In most cases, the shielding of the region from direct sunlight does produce a marked improvement in condition. The additional application of balms does produce quick results as well. Once the lesions have been localized and restricted in formation, it can be removed with a forceps and scalpel.
- Prevention: It is best advised to prevent unnecessary trauma to the fingernails in general and to the palms in particular. Since the nails are the first point of contact in most instances, it is best advised to be cautious when handling large and heavy objects.
- Symptoms: The very top of fingers and nails are showing spots of streaks. This can be seen to be a regular feature and does not go away. It could be that there would be no any factors and issues that could have set off the spots.
- Treatment: It is best advised that the discoloration is treated as per the symptoms. Local applications of moistures and balms do produce good result in most cases and should be continued if this produces an amelioration of the situation.
- Prevention: People past a certain age must be careful in using off the shelf medications and formulations. In case an adverse reaction is noticed it must be immediately referred to a doctor who can find a remedy to the condition.