When checking your body for signs of skin cancer, don't overlook your nails.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) points out that skin cancer -- including melanoma, the deadliest type -- can develop under and around the fingernails and toenails. Though it's rare, it's more common in older people with darker skin.
Risk factors include personal or family history of melanoma or nail trauma.
"When found early, melanoma -- even on the nails -- is highly treatable," said Dr. Skylar Souyoul, a board-certified dermatologist in Norwell, Mass. "The best way to find skin cancer on your nails early, when it's most treatable, is to know what to look for and regularly check your nails."
Souyoul recommends looking for:
"Nail melanoma is often diagnosed at a more advanced stage than melanoma on the skin, making it more dangerous for your health," Souyoul said in an AAD news release. "If you notice any changes to your nails, including a new dark band on your nail, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist."
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
For more on skin cancer, see the Skin Cancer Foundation.
SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology, news release, May 11, 2021