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Do nail disorders run in families?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Several nail disorders run in families. The most common nail infections are caused by a fungus, and some people have a genetic sensitivity to a particular fungus that can cause these infections. People with psoriasis -- who may develop nail psoriasis -- often have a relative with psoriasis, although the exact cause of the condition is not known. Ingrown toenails also tend to run in families. 
Certain nail disorders do run in families because of a genetic predisposition to a condition or illness that affects the nail. When a nail infection develops, the most common cause is a fungus. Onychomycosis is a common fungal infection that often runs in families due to an inherited sensitivity to the fungus.

Another hereditary condition that often affects people from birth is called nail-patella syndrome. Nail-patella syndrome is a condition that causes people to be born without fingernails. If a child is born with fingernails, nail-patella syndrome also can cause pitting and ridges in the nails that do exist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.