Is Toenail Fungus Contagious?

Is nail and toenail fungus a contagious disease? The short answer to that question is “yes”. If you are seeing signs of a toenail fungus, yellowing of the nails, green, crusty or bumpy in appearance, chances are, you picked up an infection from someone else.

Many people think toenail fungus is not a contagious disease and don’t worry too much about taking extra precautions of spreading it. But if you have it, you should be extra cautious especially amongst family members. You could spread it to anyone living at home and to any one in public.

Your responsibility as a toenail fungus sufferer should be to maintain a high level of hygiene. Refrain from visiting public facilities such as a community swimming pool. At your local gym for example, wear protective footwear. Don’t use the showers or walk around bare feet in places where others can come in contact with fungus bacteria. Manicures and pedicures should be out of the question especially if your routine is to visit nail salons often.

The highly contagious nature of nail and toenail fungus is spread to others in the form of bacteria (spores). The latest estimates say that over 35 million people are affected. If you’re wondering how you contacted this nasty disease, think about all the possible reasons where you could have contacted toenail fungus. Do you have a habit of visiting the same old nail saloon year after year? Did you visit a public facility where you walked around without shoes? Maybe someone else in your family has had toenail fungus recently. Its just like any other contagious disease for e.g. the flu, which is spread more often on surfaces that was touched by somebody who was sick. The same is true for toenail fungus.

Here are some important tips to remember in regards to the contagious nature of toenail fungus;

How not to re-infect yourself and others:

  • Don’t share your shoes, especially your flip flops with anyone.
  • Avoid walking in public places bare foot e.g. poolside, showers, public baths, around the house wear cotton socks so others do not contact the disease.
  • If you have to wear socks, change your shoes and socks frequently.
  • Dry feet thoroughly after showers or baths, and use an anti-fungal powder in your shoes then use a topical solution applied directly to the infected nail.
  • Avoid using nail polish.
  • Try to air your feet as much as possible – oxygen thwarts the growth of fungus.