Are you one of the many people that suffer from ugly, discolored toenails? You may have a fungal infection that needs treatment! Fungal toenails appear thickened with a yellowish or brownish discoloration. You may notice extra skin that is accumulating around the skin folds or under your nail as well. Unlike other types of infections, toenail fungal infections are not painful usually. You may not even realize it’s there until you remove your toenail polish. Many people ask if toenail fungus is hereditary. Although there is no definitive evidence that toenail fungus is a hereditary condition, there is current research extensively studying the link to onychomycosis (toenail fungus) to a gene in our DNA. There are a few research studies that suggest a genetic basis to developing some types of toenail fungus; however, there are still arguments as to whether these studies are true. The current literature supports that toenail fungus occurs most commonly because of a decreased immune system response or from a weakened spot on the toenail. If your immune system is weak, you are not able to fight off normal bacteria or fungus that is on our skin. People with Diabetes, Autoimmune conditions, or the elderly are just a few examples of conditions that weaken the immune system making them more susceptible to a fungal infection. Another reason you can develop a toenail fungus is from trauma. Regardless of whether the trauma is due to the nail coming completely off or from repetitive microtrauma from hitting in your shoes, trauma will weaken a small area on the nail and allow a fungus to infect the skin under the toenail and cause a fungal infection. Also be careful of letting salons use tools to dig out ingrown toenails at salons! If your nail starts to lift off the skin from repetitive use of instruments used for a pedicure, then it could allow for a fungus to creep underneath the skin and affect your nail. If you think you have a toenail fungal infection, don’t wait to seek treatment. The more extensive the fungal infection is, the harder it is to treat. Advanced Podiatry has the latest technology to treat toenail fungus. Toenail Laser therapy is the most effective way to treat toenail fungus. Laser treatments are nonpainful and can be performed in 15 minutes or less so you can continue on with your day. If you’re interested in laser treatments for toenail fungus, call Advanced Podiatry at 813-875-0555 for a consultation with our doctors today. Don’t hide toenail fungus, treat it!!!