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Doctor insights on: Black Specks Under The Fingernails

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What causes black vertical lines under fingernails ? I am asking for a 66 yr. Old male.

What causes black vertical lines under fingernails ? I am asking for a 66 yr. Old male.

Blood clots : Tiny blood clots, usually broken off from heart valves then float to the end arteries of the fingertips and get caught in the capillaries of the nail bed. They are not dangerous in and of themselves, but could be reflective of a heart problem. ...Read more

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Dr. Jennifer Haley
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Fingernails (Definition)

Fingernails are the hard coverings at the end of fingertips. Nails are made out of a protein called keratin. they function to protect the fingertip and to increase sensitivity of touch. Good hand hygiene and nail care is important to prevent bacterial ...Read more


Dr. Jennifer Haley
Board Certified
17 years in practice
243K people helped
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Should i be concerned about black lines growing under my fingernails? I'm a 51 year old black female, my father had heart disease, no information on my mother, i'm approximately 170 lbs, 5"3, medium build. I work third shift, i don't exercise regularly,

Hello. : Hello. Sometimes black lines can be small splinter hemorrhages. Sometimes black lines can be associated with skin cancer. Do recommend that you see a dermatologist to have this evaluated to ensure that it is not from a worrisome cause. Take care. ...Read more

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One of my fingernails is turning black and they all have ridges. ....what could be causing this?

One of my fingernails is turning black and they all have ridges. ....what could be causing this?

Nail issues: The best thing would be to have it checked out as it could be anything from fungal infection to injury or other disease. If you have ridges it could also be fungal infection but it is difficult to say without looking at it. See your doctor. If it developed acutely it could be an injury but you would have known it since it would be painful to have it bleed and have the blood underneath turn dark. ...Read more

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Dr. Jennifer Haley
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One of my fingernails is black by the cuticle and on the front. It doesn't wash off. Is it a fungus?

One of my fingernails is black by the cuticle and on the front. It doesn't wash off. Is it a fungus?

Not necessarily: If it appeared quickly, like over night, then it most probably is trauma. It may also be a mole growing in the area or a fungus. Smokers may get some black in the cuticle and nail. If it lasts for more than two weeks, then go to your dermatologist to have it diagnosed. ...Read more

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Dr. Jennifer Haley
Board Certified, Dermatology
17 years in practice
243K people helped
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