Anyone who has toenail fungus wonders if it is contagious. Also, if other people in your house or workplace have it, you might wonder the same again. It is natural to worry, but it is important to be aware. Yes, toenail fungus is contagious. It can be transmitted from one person to another or through various objects and surfaces. The fungus can be transmitted from one person to another as quickly as flu. It can be by direct or indirect contact. The risk is higher if you share your footwear with someone. Swimming pools, public showers, and locker rooms are areas where one can easily get toenail fungus.
How is toenail fungus actually transmitted?
- The most obvious way of getting toenail fungus transmitted is via direct contact. If you touch the skin, nail or the area surrounding the nail, there are chances that you can get infected immediately. Although the level of contagiousness is not high, it still exists.
- If you share your belongings with a partner or a family member such as nail polish, pedicure tools, towels, shoes, socks or slippers, there are chances that you might get infected.
- Sharing soaps can guarantee that this contagious infection will spread through the people living in the house.
- If one has a foot infection already, chances are that his immune system is weak which makes it even easier to get toenail fungus. Hence, it is always suggested to eat healthy food and maintain a good immune system.
- Wearing ill-fitted shoes can itself be the cause of toenail fungus and then the person’s infection might spread on to others.
- People who have diabetes, other skin infections, dry skin, brittle nails or a weak immune system can get toenail fungus faster than the others.
To sum up, toenail fungus, also called onychomycosis, can infect people of all ages and ethnicities. However, athletes, swimmers, elderly, people who suffer from diabetes, psoriasis, and a weaker immune system can contract toenail fungus faster than others. Though science has been researching since ages, it is not clear as to why some people are more susceptible to toenail fungal infections. Whatever the reasons may be, one of the most common and prominent reasons is a weaker immune system.
How can we stop this contagious disease from spreading?
If you have toenail fungus do the following things to prevent this infection from spreading:
- Avoid walking barefoot around the house, or any other public places.
- Do not share your shoes and socks with anyone.
- Change your shoes and socks frequently.
- Make a point to change your socks especially in the summer season, as the fungus develops more in warmer and damp places.
- Keep your feet dry after showering.
- Pat your nails and surrounding skin dry and let them breathe.
- Avoid covering your discolored and brittle toenails with nail polish. It will only worsen the condition of your toenail fungal infection.
- Apply a topical anti-fungal cream or ointment.
- Massage your toenails with tea-tree oil or Vicks Vaporub to cure it.
Though home remedies are not very effective in extremely severe cases, we must never stop trying, right? Though the home remedies don’t completely treat the fungal infections, they can reduce the effects and contagiousness.
If you don’t have a toenail fungus, you can do the following to keep your toenails safe:
If you know someone who has toenail fungus, suggest them to go to a doctor and get it cured. The doctor will usually prescribe an anti-fungal medicine or even a topical anti-fungal cream or ointment. If you generally want to take care of your feet, you can do the following:
- Always use your personal soap, tower, shoes, socks, nail clippers and other items. Do not share them with anyone! I repeat, not even with those who don’t have toenail fungus.
- Wear good quality footwear always. Make sure you wash your socks and change them on a daily basis.
- Do not moisturize your feet excessively. Excess moisture increases your chance of getting a fungal nail infection.
- You can apply powder if your feet become extremely sweaty. This can prevent the collection of sweat.
- Make sure the pedicure instruments are washed and sterilized before the salon uses it.
- Soak your feet in eucalyptus bath for great hygiene.
- Always trim your nails and never let debris get collected.
- Avoid pushing back your cuticles or pulling or tearing your nail’s skin. This can invite an infection too!
Proper nail care can help you stay away from toenail fungus. Also, if you have a toenail fungus, proper nail care can help you treat it as well.
Yes, toenail fungus can spread. It is contagious.
The word ‘contagious’ might scare many of you who care for others and themselves. However, science has progressed a lot! You can strengthen the immune system and stop the infection from spreading. Eat healthy foods that can enable you to fight against the toenail fungal infection. You can eat fruits, fresh vegetables and have fresh juices. Also, exercise daily to strengthen the immune system.
THE BEST ADVISE: Go to your doctor whenever needed. Getting diagnosed early helps in solving many problems.