Manicurist spots sign of deadly disease in client's nail

 Photo: Facebook/Jean Skinner

A manicurist has taken to Facebook to make known a sign of a deadly disease after spotting it in one of her clients.

"I had a walk-in nail client a couple weeks ago," wrote Jean Skinner, in a post that's since gone viral. Ms Skinner shared that the woman had been visiting nail salons for years and had a straight dark vertical stripe down her nail.

When the client sat down, she said to Ms Skinner, "I need a colour dark enough to cover this stripe."

Over the years, various salons had "diagnosed" her in various ways. "Some said it was a lack of calcium," Ms Skinner wrote. "Some said it was hereditary. At least one had told her it was a blood blister."

But they were wrong.

"This is melanoma!" Ms Skinner wrote, adding that while she did not want to frighten her client she told her she needed to see a doctor immediately.

"She called me today to tell me that yes it was a very aggressive melanoma that has already spread to her lymph nodes," she continued, explaining that her client's prognosis is poor.

Urging people to please pay attention to abnormalities in their nail beds, Ms Skinner wrote, "Odd changes in your nails can very likely be nothing to worry about. But sometimes it is an indication of a very serious disease."

And we shouldn't just be keeping an eye on our own fingers and toes.

"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."

According to the Melanoma Institute Australia, Subungual melanoma is an uncommon type of melanoma that occurs under the nail bed. It may cause a dark coloured stripe that runs along the length of the nail plate, as well as the nail itself. It is frequently misdiagnosed, which leads to a delay in proper diagnosis.