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bruise under toenail
This weekend, I was removing nail polish that had been on my toenails for a few months and I noticed what looked like a bruise along the left side of one of my big toes. It appears to be under the toenail and not on the surface (picture attached). There is no pain and it is not tender to the touch. I don't remember hurting my toe recently, so I'm confused about why it would be bruised. I went online to see what I could find and found a lot of information about subungual melanoma and now I'm freaked out. Because I've had on nailpolish for a few months, I don't know when the "bruise" appeared or if it has grown slowly or quickly or at all. I'm a 41 year old caucasian woman with fair, freckled skin. I have had a few moles removed and tested, but have no history of melanoma.
What are the chances that this is melanoma? Is there anything else it could be? Should I get to a dermatologist ASAP?
Before you "freak out" just go to a podiatrist and have a little bit of the nail cut away (it should be a painless experience) so that the discoloration can be examined. In the vast, vast majority of cases it is usually dry blood. (I know there is no history of trauma; it does not matter). In my thirty years of practice I have cut away a few thousand discolored nails and only once was it a melanoma.
But to give yourself peace of mind go have it looked at and do not put it off.
Marc Mitnick DPM