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How Does Toenail Fungus Spread

Doctors Weigh Best Treatments

How do I Use Bleach for Toenail Fungus

The best treatment for fungal nail infections is a prescription that your dermatologist can prescribe that you take every day for two-to-three months. The pill is not for everyone, since oral antifungals can interact with other medications and can affect the liver.

Fortunately if you dont want to or cant take a pill, there are topical solutions to treat nail fungus. Although topical medications are desirable because of the low risk of side effects and interaction with other medications, they have much longer treatment regimens. Generally, topical medications have a lower clearance rate compared to oral pills.

Newer topical antifungals including Efinaconazole and Tavaborole have better penetration of the nail plate and so they work better compared to older topical medications, says Dr. Ng. She says the topical medications work best if you only have partial nail involvement.

Lasers are approved by the FDA to temporarily increase the amount of clear nail. However, the cure rates are lower than oral medications and topical solutions.

Tips To Combat Foot Fungus

The best way to combat foot fungus is to reduce your exposure to it. There are simple things you can do to prevent from contracting foot and nail fungus.

  • Wash and dry your feet well after exercising. Be sure to get between your toes.
  • If you use a communal area such as a shower at your gym or the local pool, wear waterproof shoes such as flip-flops to ensure your feet dont come into contact with contaminated surfaces.
  • If you suspect a case of athletes foot is brewing, treat it right away with over-the-counter creams mentioned above.
  • Because athletes foot and toenail fungus thrives in dark, damp environments, wear shoes that breathe and dont trap sweat inside of them, and change your socks often. Invest in some socks that wick moisture away from your skin.
  • Be sure to protect your feet at home if someone has a foot infection.
  • What Are Signs Of A Fungal Infection

    A fungal infection usually includes at least one of the following signs on one or more of your toenails:

    • Scaling under the nail
    • White or yellow streaks on the nail
    • Flaking white areas on the surface of the nail
    • Small pits on the nail
    • Crumbling corners or tips of the nail
    • Foul odor coming from the nail
    • Thickened or brittle texture
    • The nail separating from the nail bed

    A fungal infection isnt the only thing that can change the appearance or texture of your toenails. Have Dr. Bocian take a look before you try to treat a fungal infection on your own. He can determine if you have a fungal infection, how serious it is, and how to treat it.

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    Medical Complications From Untreated Fungal Toenail Infection

    Without proper treatment to stop your toenail fungal infection from getting worse, or spreading, complications will eventually develop. Fungal infections of your toenail can spread to the surrounding skin and when your skin becomes cracked, bacteria can enter and cause an abscess.

    An abscess on the toe is a tender mass generally surrounded by a colored area from pink to deep red. They are often easy to feel by touching. Inside they are full of pus, bacteria and debris.

    Untreated toenail fungal infections can lead to cellulitis and should be treated immediately with antibiotics. Untreated skin infections of the toe may lead to severe cellulitis and if the infection enters the bloodstream it can become septicemia, also known as bacteremia or blood poisoning. Once the infection enters the bloodstream the bacteria and their toxins are carried through the bloodstream to your entire body. If the bacteria levels become high enough, septicemia can quickly become life threatening.

    A good reason to seek treatment if you suspect you have a toenail fungal infection is because of the similarity of symptoms for differing diagnosis of more serious toenail conditions. You may have a toenail fungus, but you could also be experiencing similar symptoms of a toenail viral infection , complications from toenail trauma, a pre-malignant lesion or, more seriously, melanoma of the nail bed.

    Life Cycle And Reproduction

    How Does Toenail Fungus Spread?

    Fungus can reproduce both sexually and asexually. You will be surprised to know that fungi can grow in almost any form, it can reproduce through budding, spores and fragmentation.

    So there is no way, when you can think that the fungus cells are not growing. According to studies, it takes almost 24 hours to double the spores of the toenail fungus. That is why its quite important to keep an eye on the toenails, you never know when and how the toenail fungus infection started, because negligence will only make it grow more.

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    Check Your Nails To Find Early Signs Of Infection

    Following these precautions will reduce your risk of getting another infection. Fungal infection, however, are very common. You can get another one. Early treatment delivers the best outcome.

    You can find signs of an early fungal infection by checking your nails and the skin around them at least once a month. You want to look for:

    • Changes in nail color, such as a white spot or brown or yellow streak

    • Changes to the texture of your nails

    • Soreness or swelling around a nail

    • Dry, itchy skin

    If you notice any signs of infection, make an appointment to see your dermatologist.

    ImageGetty Images

    ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.

    Home Remedies To Avoid Toenail Fungus

    • Apply tea tree oil, lavender, clove, or oregano oil on your toenails every day. It will inhibit the growth of the toenail fungus.
    • Always wash your toenails whenever you come back from outside with an antifungal and antibacterial soap.
    • Make different types of foot soaks for your feet once a week. You can make a foot soak of apple cider vinegar and baking soda. It is very effective as it will change the pH of the toenail, and then the toenail fungus will be killed eventually.
    • You can also try a paste of the baking soda, it is also very effective, and you can use it to create an acidic environment for the toenail fungus.

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    S To Prevent The Spread Of Toenail Fungus

    Fungal toenails are a contagious infection, so when your spouse or one of your kids comes home with it, it can easily spread to you or other members of your family. No one wants to deal with a family-wide epidemic of unsightly, discolored toenails. To avoid this, you need to take steps to stop the fungus in its tracks and keep it from spreading. Fortunately, with a little effort, you can prevent the spread of fungal infections in your family.

    Toenail fungus is caused by a stubborn microorganism that thrives in warm, damp environments. Sweaty feet and toes can be one of the best hosts for the pathogen, and unfortunately, it easily spreads to just about anything it touches. That includes socks, shoes, towels, the shower, your floors, and so on. In a family, that means its easy for one family member with the infection to pass it on to just about everyone else.

    Fortunately, some preventative measures can help keep the fungus from getting passed around:

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    How To Stop Toenail Fungus From Spreading

    How to get rid and prevent toenail fungus?

    To stop the transmission of toenail fungus to your loved ones, follow the below tips.

    • If youre suffering from toenail fungus, never share your towels, clothes, nail polish, socks, and footwear with anyone.
    • Use sanitized nail clippers to trim your nails and advise the same to your family members.
    • Wash infected persons clothes in a separate washing machine.
    • Clean the shower area and bathtub with bleach after every use.
    • As toenail fungus transmits through direct contact, dont share the bed with the infected person.

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    What Is Toenail Fungus

    Toenail fungus is a widespread fungal infection that affects the toenails. Less commonly, nail fungus infects the fingernails. Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis.

    Toenail fungus happens when fungi get between the toenail and the toenail bed . This usually happens through a crack or cut in your toe.

    Toenail Fungus Can Spread From One Person To Another

    Its completely true that toenail fungus can spread from one person to another. This may happen to your family members who usually share your items. Toenail fungus is contagious via skin contact with the affected skin and objects. So, avoid touching or sharing personal items with infected people.

    Sharing infected items can cause toenail fungus to spread to other people

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    Tips To Prevent Fungal Nail Infections

    Making a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent a fungal infection of the nails. Taking good care of your nails by keeping them well trimmed and clean is a good way to prevent infections.

    Also avoid injuring the skin around your nails. If youre going to have damp or wet hands for an extended amount of time, you may want to wear rubber gloves.

    Other ways to prevent fungal infections of the nails include:

    • washing your hands after touching infected nails
    • drying your feet well after showering, especially between your toes
    • getting manicures or pedicures from trustworthy salons
    • avoiding being barefoot in public places
    • reducing your use of artificial nails and nail polish

    Products to help you avoid nail fungus

    If youre prone to excessive moisture around your fingernails or toenails, consider buying:

    Softening And Scraping Away The Nail

    Can Toenail Fungus Spread Through Nail Polish

    As it can take a long time for antifungal medication to work, some people may prefer to use a treatment that involves softening and removing infected parts of nail over a few weeks.

    Treatment kits are available from pharmacies that contain a 40% urea paste, plasters and a scraping device. The paste softens the infected parts of the nail, allowing them to be scraped away so they can be gradually replaced with healthy nail.

    To use the treatment:

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    Spreads Mostly Through Direct Contact

    The infection can spread or transfer between family members in a household if youre sharing towels or using the same shower. It will also spread from one of your own toenails to another.

    In households with someone who has a toenail fungus, making simple changes like using a different shower or wearing flip-flops in the shower will help to avoid direct contact with the fungus. In communal areas like hotel rooms, dorm showers, or public gyms or pools, try to avoid walking barefoot.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus

    Toenail fungus can affect part of the nail or the whole nail. Its symptoms usually begin with a white or yellow streak or spot on the nail. For many sufferers, a mild discoloration of the nail may occur. If you notice the following signs and symptoms, you are likely to have toenail fungus.

    • Nail flaking
    • Nail discoloration
    • Distorted nail shape
    • Thick, dry and crumbling nails
    • Pain and itchiness between the toes and around the foot

    To confirm the diagnosis, you should check with your doctor. He or she can examine your nails or take a sample of your infected nail for laboratory test.

    Toenail fungus symptoms

    Read Also: Does Soaking Feet In Bleach Kill Toenail Fungus

    Be Courteous With Toenail Clippers

    When using a pair of toenail clippers, its important that they only be used for your nails and your nails alone.

    It can be easy for fungus to catch a ride on your clippers, so nobody else should even touch them. Dont even let them mingle with other clippers or tools.

    Additionally, never use your toenail clippers on your fingernails. Not only can you easily transmit the fungus from your toenails to your fingernails that way, but actual toenail clippers are typically too big for the job. Use dedicated fingernail clippers instead.

    It also doesnt hurt to periodically clean and sterilize your clippers. You can soak them in rubbing alcohol for 30 minutes, and/or scrub them with an old toothbrush using warm water and dish soap. Make sure to thoroughly dry them off afterward with a clean paper towel to prevent rusting.

    Is It Possible To Prevent The Recurrence Of Nail Fungus

    New treatment offered to treat toenail fungus

    Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot or foot fungus, can cause recurrence of fungal nails. Therefore, it is important to manage this condition. One can apply over-the-counter antifungal medicines such as clotrimazole or terbinafine cream as directed to affected skin. Keeping footwear and socks clean can be helpful. You can also use portable UV light sanitizers to disinfect shoes.

    Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Toe Fungus Fast

    Easy Treatment Of Toenail Fungus With Urgent Fungus Destroyer

    Urgent Fungus Destroyer is a type of supplement that has no side effects. Anyone can use it. These supplements are the ideal treatment for weak people who do not want to eat healthy or cannot afford a balanced diet.

    You can either include the urgent fungus destroyer in your diet for regular use, if you do not want to have the toenail fungus infection, or start having it post infection. It has cats claw, marshmallow root, and mushroom complex, these are very effective in killing the toenail fungus.

    Urgent fungus destroyer works improves the working of your immune system, and it will then eventually cure the toenail fungus infection. It will take almost three to four months to kill the toenail fungus completely.

    Tips For Preventing The Spread Of Toenail Fungus

    If you are currently living with toenail fungus, you dont have to run off and be a hermit in the mountains to avoid passing on the infection to others. There are many simple things you can do to greatly limit the chances of transmitting the fungus to someone else and help keep it from spreading further on yourself as well.

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    How Can Toenail Fungus Spread

    There are various reasons for that. The toenail fungus is already quite contagious, and resistive to all kinds of weather. However, knowing what can be the real cause for the spread of toenail fungus can help you understand how to prevent it efficiently.

    Here we have discussed a few of the potential reasons that can be a cause of the spread of toenail fungus among people, and on your body parts.

    What Causes Fungal Nails

    Can fungus spread to other toes?

    Fungus tends to live in warm, damp, dark environments. Your toenails spend hours every day in an environment where fungi can thrive your socks and shoes. A fungal nail infection means, simply, that a lot of fungi have congregated in your nails.

    Youre more likely to get a fungal infection if you dont thoroughly wash and dry your feet or if your feet are hot and sweaty. If you go barefoot in a locker room or swim in a public pool, you may be exposing yourself to nail fungi.

    Its easy for fungi to spread. You may catch it from another person. Once your nails become infected, the infection can easily spread to other parts of your body. Its common for nail fungus to accompany athletes foot, an infection of the skin between your toes.

    Your risk of developing fungal nails is higher if you have diabetes, a weakened immune system, or poor circulation. Your toes dont receive as much blood as your fingers, so its harder for them to combat infections, and these conditions make it that much harder. Also, some people are genetically susceptible to nail fungus.

    Read Also: How To Clear Toenail Fungus Naturally

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    How Fungal Nail Infections Start

    So why did you get the fungal nail infection but your gym buddy didnt or why is only one nail currently infected but not the rest? A fungal nail infection starts when a spore comes in contact with your toenail and is able to invade the nail through an opening like if your nail is injured or damaged. After the fungus takes hold, it feeds on the keratin that your nails are composed of, causing changes to the appearance and colour of the nail. The infection can also cause a mild inflammatory response which can lift the nail and trap more fungus, spores and bacteria beneath, making effective treatment even more difficult especially if youre only using a surface-level cream or ointment.

    You are more vulnerable to an infection taking hold if you have a compromised immune system, are pregnant, are older, have medical conditions like diabetes or circulatory problems or have Athletes foot. While this may explain why some people may start growing the infection faster than others, it can only take a stubbed toe or some slight damage to the nail from not being careful when trimming the nail or getting a pedicure to skyrocket your risk.

    Protection And Treatment Outside Your Home

    • Wear shower shoes or flip flops in communal areas. Its not just walking through locker rooms barefoot thats a problemwear your footwear as you shower.
    • The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends not using nail polish on infected toenails.
    • Ask your salon about how they sanitize their implements. Metal tools should be sanitized in high-temperature autoclaves, but often they are just allowed to soak in disinfectant. Used pumice stones can also harbor bacteria.
    • Buy professional pedicure tools and ask your pedicurist to use your tools. Let him or her know not to cut cuticles, just to push them back. While sharing nail polish at the salon doesnt seem to be a problem due to the chemicals in the polish, better safe than sorry. Bonus: You can do your own touch-ups if you use your own nail polish.

    Also Check: What Cures Nail Fungus Fast

    Fungus Into The Bloodstream

    This only happens in a serious stage of toenail fungus, people with very weak immune system and people with HIV/AIDS and Diabetes are known to face this danger. When the fungus enters the deeper skin, causing cellulitis thats when the disesase will enter the bloodstream. If you believe you are experiencing a fungal blood infect, i highly suggest you contact your doctor immediately.


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