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Are black lines on fingernails a normal aging thing?

Why does my dad suddenly have black lines on his fingernails? He says he feels fine and doesn't remember injuring himself recently.
Status: Open    Jan 03, 2016 - 08:54 AM

Senior Health & Nutrition

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Jan 15, 2016 - 09:24 AM

Thanks for your note. Any ‘sudden’ changes should be checked by a physician in person. Some nail conditions like splinter hemorrhages – thin black lines that run vertically, usually on the far side of the nail – can be a sign of chronic diseases or infections, some of which need attention urgently. Slower changes in nail color are often related to normal aging and pigment changes, but occasionally can represent a more malignant process like melanoma. Fungal infection is always a concern, in toes and fingers alike. In this case it sounds like a visit to the doctor is in order.

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