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Nail Problems Message Board

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White line in nail
Nov 26, 2006
Not too sure how to describe this one. I am not a nail nibbler or spend a whole lot of time in regards to manicures but I had noticed a white line in my thumb nail about 2 years ago. I didn't think much of it until it started to get tender as it got wider and longer. It started at the moon and slowly traveled up to the tip of the finger. Went to the doctor and he figured I must have done "something" to the nail and not to worry about it. Fast forward about 3 months and the nail started to get boarderline painful. Back to the GP again and he figured what ever I had done (and heck if I know) had now become infected. 2 months of meds later and the whole thumb is feeling this pain. I had suggested maybe drilling a hole in the nail and see if any fluid build up would be released since he was sure it was infected and he agreed. Nothing came out but I went home and started to soak it 3-4 times a day and still nothing happened.

By now it was getting harder to lift things with and move in general. At this point the doctor is stumped and decides to pull of the entire nail. I have to mention here that this is one of the most painful proceedures I have every encountered...and I gave birth naturally three time. He doesn't clean the bed just covered it with goop and sends me on my way. 3 weeks later I went back because the discomfort was still there and I figured that everything was out in the open might as well deal with it now. I also wanted to know what he had found out about the nail. Turns out he didn't think to send the nail in to the labs to find out what the problem was. He figured that the next step is to completely distroy the nail bed and then there would no longer be any issues. I told him to get stuffed and left.

The nail has grown back and other than the line down the center running from the moon to tip it looks fine costmetically. The problem is I'm back where I started. The nail is very sore and tender and it's getting harder to use my thumb without discomfort. I refuse to believe that my only option is to loose the nail completely. I work at a school with young children there is no way I'm going around with my hand looking like that. Any suggestions? I don't even know the type of doctor one would see about this.

Did you see anything on the nail bed after he removed the nail plate? Was there a raised line running from the cuticle to the free edge? When you press on the area between the first knuckle and the cuticle, is it sore, or is it only sore on the nail plate? Is the line completely white, or is it colored at the edges with red or brown? It could very well be a malignant melanoma (nail mole) in the nail root. Try seeing a dermatologist instead of your regular doctor.
Thank you for the response Marti!

When the nail was removed there was a funny indent in the bed and there seemed to be a jelly inside. The doctor never made any comment on it. I do not know if there was anything abnormal with the nail itself...wasn't in the looking mood at the time :).

Only the nail itself is really sore. When pressing down or if I use the nail to lift or grab something it is also very tender. There are no other tender spots on the thumb itself or cuticle so much as a general ache over all. The line coming up starts from the middle of the moon and goes to the tip smack dab in the middle of the nail. It is clear about half way then goes white with a red/pink streak in the middle. I'm thinking a dermatologist is the way to go.....she only comes around every 4-6 months and loves to order every test known to man but at least she doesn't miss anything. Gotta love small towns. If you have any other thoughts I would love to hear them.
If it ends up being a nale 'mole' she will have to biopsy, and this may mean permanent damage to the nail plate due to the trauma to the nail matrix. Please be sure to book an appointment with her!!!

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