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August 1970

Black Nails With Proteus mirabilis

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Mich. After July 1, 1970, Dr. Zuehlke will be at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Arch Dermatol. 1970;102(2):154-155. doi:10.1001/archderm.1970.04000080026005

Following carotid endarterectomy, a patient received chloramphenicol for a postsurgical complication. Subsequently his fingernails, which had been black, began to return to normal color. Since chloramphenicol-sensitive Proteus mirabilis was cultured from the nails, this organism may have been responsible for the black pigment. P mirabilis should be considered when a patient is seen with dark-brown or black nails.