Monday Pharmaceutical Mystery: October 15

Can you solve the pharmaceutical mystery? Each week, a new case study is presented.

A middle-aged woman presents at the pharmacy cash register to purchase a topical antifungal solution. She shows you her finger nail and explain that she is hoping this antifungal will cure the mysterious black line that runs the length of the nail bed. She said she has not had any trauma to the nail and it does not hurt.

Mystery: Will the antifungal resolve the black line on this woman's finger nail?

Solution: A straight black line down the length of the nail bed is a symptom of melanoma. The patient should have the moles on that extremity examined by a dermatologist ASAP. Telling the patient this news will require some gentleness and tactfulness. It is possible that by the time the black line presents in the nail bed, the melanoma is no longer localized, it is now in the blood stream. Convincing the patent to see a dermatologist immediately is the goal. Find a gentle way to accomplish this without frightening the customer.