It may not seem like it, but nails have the important function of alerting us about our state of health.

More than protecting tissues and facilitating the act of scratching, they act as spokespersons for our organism and indicate relevant things about it, such as nutritional deficiencies, thyroid changes and even some types of cancer.

An example is when vertical and dark lines appear, usually in black, gray or brown. Such a condition can indicate that a person has melanoma – a type of cancer considered aggressive, as cancer cells can spread quickly through the bloodstream.

This is what happened to a client of beautician Jean Skinner, who owns a beauty salon in Uckfield, UK. The girl arrived at the establishment asking for an enamel color that was dark enough to cover a black line that crossed her nail vertically. Upon seeing the woman’s finger, Skinner instructed her to seek a dermatologist as soon as possible, as that could indicate something more serious than simple aesthetic discomfort.

Intrigued by what happened, the beautician posted a photo of the client’s nail on a social network and alerted his friends about the risks of not paying attention to the signs that the body gives. “I didn’t want to scare her, but I said that she needed to see her doctor right away. She called me today to confirm that it was a very aggressive melanoma and that her prognosis was not good ”, she wrote.

It is important to note that only a dermatologist’s analysis can indicate whether, in fact, it is an injury caused by skin cancer. Usually, the specialist asks the patient to do a biopsy when a tissue sample is taken between the cuticle and the nail. If the diagnosis is confirmed, the patient needs to have a surgical procedure in which a larger amount of tissue is removed. It can happen that, in the most severe cases, the finger is amputated.