Some manicurists said it was a lack of calcium. Some said it was hereditary. At least one had told her it was a blood blister.
But when nail technician Jean Skinner saw the black line down the middle of her client’s finger nail she knew it was something far more serious.
She shared the story on Facebook in a post which has since gone viral with thousands of comments and shares.
“She had been going to the "NAILS" type salons for years,” Jean wrote of her walk-in customer. “She had a straight dark vertical stripe down her nail. She said as soon as she sat down – I need a colour dark enough to cover this stripe.”
“This is melanoma! I did not want to frighten her but I told her she needed to see her 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! Her prognosis is not good!”
Jean had a warning for others who noticed changes in their nail beds.
“Odd changes in your nails can very likely be nothing to worry about! But sometimes it is an indication of a very serious disease.”
“Early diagnosis can make all the difference in the world!”
If you notice any unusual moles, sores, lumps, blemishes, markings, or changes in the way an area of the skin looks or feels speak to a medical professional immediately.
This article originally appeared on Womens Health Australia.