Fungal melanonychia

J Dermatol. 2004 Nov;31(11):904-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2004.tb00624.x.


Melanonychia is characterized by tan, brown, or black pigmentation within the nail plate. Fungal melanonychia is rare and may simulate longitudinal melanonychia caused by melanocytic lesions. We report six cases of fungal melanonychia which were confirmed histopathologically or mycologically. On culture, Candida and/or Aspergillus species were isolated in four patients. The nail pigmentation improved after treatment with antifungal agents in all cases, but one patient experienced a new lesion on another nail after cessation of treatment. Fungal infection should be considered as a cause of melanonychia, and fungal melanonychia should be differentiated from the melanonychia caused by melanocytic lesions, particularly by subungual melanoma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillosis / diagnosis
  • Candidiasis / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Foot Dermatoses / microbiology*
  • Hand Dermatoses / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanosis / microbiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Onychomycosis / diagnosis*


  • Antifungal Agents