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Are nail disorders serious?

Certain nail disorders can be serious, but most are easily treatable and cured after a new nail has grown in. One example of a serious nail condition is the appearance of dark spots or streaks in the nail or on the nail bed. These dark streaks can be a sign of melanoma, a fatal form of skin cancer if left untreated.

Another nail disorder that should be looked at immediately by your doctor is splinter hemorrhages. Splinter hemorrhages appear as red lines that run in the direction of nail growth. They are damaged blood vessels that are associated with blood clots. They are most often caused by trauma to the nail but are more serious when trauma has not occurred. They are not serious by themselves but are linked to problems with your heart and should be evaluated by a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.