Pigmented nail disorders

Dermatol Clin. 2006 Jul;24(3):329-39. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2006.03.012.


Nail pigmentation is defined by the presence of melanin in the nail plate. It most frequently has the appearance of a longitudinal pigmented band, called longitudinal mel-anonychia (LM). LM is an important aspect of ungual pathology because it can be the first sign of nail apparatus melanoma. The aim of this article is to help distinguish those types of melanonychia that are worrisome and should lead to biopsy from those that are reasonably reassuring and need only be followed clinically. Histology, differential diagnosis, and biopsy techniques also are considered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nail Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Nail Diseases / pathology
  • Nail Diseases / therapy*
  • Pigmentation Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Pigmentation Disorders / pathology
  • Pigmentation Disorders / therapy*