Annual dermatologist appointments are vital for general skin health, but more importantly, they’re a great way to catch signs of skin cancer before it spreads. Unfortunately, the signs of skin cancer can be hard to spot on your own, and one woman’s experience is proof of that.
Manicurist Jean Skinner recently posted online about a skin cancer scare one of her clients faced, The Sun reports. During a routine manicure with a client, Skinner claims that she spotted a black vertical line, running along the center of her client’s nail bed, alerting her that something was very wrong.
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“I did not want to frighten [the client] but I told her she needed to see her doctor immediately,” said Skinner in her Facebook post. “She called me today to tell me that yes, it was a very aggressive melanoma that has already spread to her lymph nodes.”
According to the post, other nail technicians had “diagnosed” the client’s marking as a lack of calcium or an innocent blood blister. However, this particular abnormality was a sign of something much worse. The Melanoma Research Foundation calls this type of melanoma Acral Lentiginous Melanoma (ALM). It often “appears like a dark spot, bruise or streak under the fingernail or toenail” and is “found most often on the thumb or the big toe.”
As illustrated by this case, it’s so important to check yourself for any odd changes in your skin—especially in places like the nail beds or hairline. So, if you see any peculiar changes to your nails, don’t dismiss it as harmless—as the saying goes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.