A routine trip to the beauty salon turned into a life saving decision when a stylist suggested she go visit her doctor.
Nail technician, Lisa Harrison Williams, received an odd request from a walk-in client one day that caused her concern. The client, an unnamed woman, asked Williams if she had polish dark enough to cover the dark, vertical line across her thumbnail.
But Harrison knew her nail bed didn’t look quite right and suggested she visit her doctor.
The client took her advice and left the salon worried and shocked. A few days later, Harrison received a call.
It was the client thanking Harrison for her advice and informing her that odd marking on her nail was Subungual melanoma, a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the nailbed, typically those of middle-aged, darker skinned adults.
Pigmentation on the nails is not uncommon, especially for darker toned people, but Subungal melanoma typically appears only on one nail, usually the thumb or toe, as a pigmented stripe.
Most manicurists at other salons the client had visited said they thought it was a benign sign of calcium deficiency or simply a hereditary trait.
Harrison shared the picture on social media and encouraged others to get professional medical advice instead of covering up or ignoring unusual markings on their nails.
“And please keep an eye on the nail beds—toes and fingers—-of your elderly loved ones and your loved ones that aren’t physically able to notice changes in the nail beds! Early diagnosis can make all the difference in the world!!!”