What Are These Stripes on my Nails? – What is Melanonychia Striata?

Hi this is Dr. Charles Crutchfield clinical professor of dermatology and medical director at Crutchfield Dermatology.

Today we are going to talk about a funny condition called Melanonychia Striata. We’ve all seen this.

What Is Melanonychia Striata?

These are the little brown to black bands that occur on many if not all fingernails and toenails The dark bands appear in the direction of the nail growth not across the nail.

Is This Uncommon?

This is a very common harmless condition that is often seen in multiple family members.

Should You See A Doctor About Them?

It should be noted that if one band occurs suddenly over just a few weeks without any family history of such bands this should be evaluated by a doctor. Otherwise these are completely harmless and normal.