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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-11

Melanonychia: Etiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment

1 Department of Dermatology and STD, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Dermatology and STD, Lady Hardinge Medical College and SSK Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Archana Singal
Department of Dermatology and STD, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital (University of Delhi), Delhi - 110 095
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_167_19

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Melanonychia is a very worrisome entity for most patients. It is characterized by brownish black discoloration of nail plate and is a common cause of nail plate pigmentation. The aetiology of melanonychia ranges from more common benign causes to less common invasive and in situ melanomas. Melanonychia especially in a longitudinal band form can be due to both local and systemic causes. An understanding of the epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical details is necessary for adequate patient care and counseling. It not only helps in the early recognition of melanoma but also prevents unnecessary invasive work up in cases with benign etiology. An early diagnosis of malignant lesion is the key to favourable outcome. Though there are no established guidelines or algorithms for evaluating melanonychia, a systematic stepwise approach has been suggested to arrive at a probable etiology. We, hereby, review the aetiology, clinical features, diagnostic modalities and management protocol for melanonychia.

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