Subungual melanoma: A deceptive disorder

Gopal A. Patel, Gangaram Ragi, Jan Krysicki, Robert A. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Subungual melanoma is an uncommon form of acral melanoma that arises within the nail bed. The incidence for acral melanomas is similar worldwide, but the proportion is higher in dark-skinned individuals. The subungual form represents about 2% of cutaneous non-sun induced melanomas in the western world, and up to 75% in Africans, 10% in Japanese, and 25% in the Chinese of Hong Kong. Up to 33% of subungual melanomas are amelanotic. Black pigmentation of the adjacent nail fold, termed Hutchinson's sign, may be a diagnostic clue. Non-specific features and symptoms along with a high incidence of amelanosis often lead to delayed diagnosis, disease progression, and a poor prognosis with challenging treatment options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-242
Number of pages7
JournalActa Dermatovenerologica Croatica
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


  • Acral lentiginous melanoma
  • Melanoma
  • Nail disease
  • Onychomycosis
  • Subungual tumor


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