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Have you ever examined your fingernails or toenails and noticed that they were not the normal pale pink that they should be? Have you seen this dark line on your nail plate? I bet the first thing on your mind was how did they get there and how do you get rid of them.
First let's discuss what this interruption in the pinkness of the nail plate really is. It's called melanonychia and it is described as a brown or black line extending down the length of the nail plate. Though it may look as if it is on the top of the nail, it is actually within the nail. It cannot be buffed off. If you try this, you'll be buffing all the way down to the nail bed. So don't try it.
Your nails grow because the cells in the base of your nails are what makes them grow. So, whatever happens in these cells is what dictates how your nails grow. It dictates how thick your nails grow and how much of a curve your nails get. If you've ever smashed your finger in the door and now your nail grows back weird or not all, it's because you've most likely damaged the area where the cells are located.
Melanonychia, as you may notice, has the root word, melan, meaning melanin. If you have this pigment in your nails, it means that your cells have an area that contains a high amount of melanocytes. Therefore, melanonychia will be common in African Americans.
Take a look around at your friends and family to see how many people might have melanonychia. Now you're understanding your nails.