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Is a Nail Infection Hereditary?

Is Nail Fungus Hereditary?
If you have nails that are brittle, yellowing or thick, it is likely that you suffer from onychomycosis, or nail fungus. This condition affects millions of people of all ages, races and genders. If you have nail fungus, you are probably wondering what causes it and how to get rid of it. For many people, one of the most common questions is, “Is a nail infection hereditary?” In some cases, nail infections are hereditary while, in other cases, they are not.

Is My Nail Infection Hereditary?

If someone in your family suffers from onychomycosis, you are more likely to struggle with it as well. A family history is not, however, a guarantee that you will experience nail fungus. Certain hereditary factors make you more susceptible to developing infections. For example, diabetics commonly experience fungal infections of the nails due to decreased circulation. Since diabetes tends to run in families, it creates a hereditary predisposition to nail infections as well. Any hereditary condition that affects circulation or the overall health of the nails or immune system increases the probability of the development of onychomycosis. In addition, some people are simply more prone to picking up infections. This tends to run in families as well.

In some cases, people mistakenly believe that heredity is entirely to blame for recurrent fungal infections affecting numerous members of the same family. While heredity may play a role in why the family members are more susceptible to the infections, it is not the only reason. Fungal infections are highly contagious, so they are likely to spread between family members living in the same home.

What if My Nail Infection is Not Hereditary?

To always call a nail infection hereditary is not the truth. Onychomycosis is caused by a number of different factors. Often, heredity has nothing to do with it at all. The condition is caused by fungus that can be picked up from a number of sources. Common places that are home to fungus include public locker rooms, gyms and saunas. Fungus is also sometimes present on tools used by pedicures, and it can grow in warm, moist environments like the insides of athletic shoes. Some people never experience these infections, while others struggle to get rid of them.

For people who have a predisposition to fungal nail infections, preventing them is crucial. When infections develop, they can be painful and lead to serious complications because they are difficult to get rid of. To prevent them, avoid warm, moist environments like locker rooms. Wash your bath mats regularly. Do not wear wet shoes or socks, and keep your feet clean and dry at all times. If you get pedicures, only go to a reputable salon. Keep your nails neatly trimmed, and do not share products like nail clippers or nail polish with other people.

When it comes to a nail infection hereditary conditions are often a factor. Certain people are more likely to develop onychomycosis due to a genetic predisposition. It is important to note, however, that heredity is not always to blame.

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