How To Avoid Spreading Nail Fungus To Your Family
The thickened, yellowish, and ugly looking nails that result from a fungal infection of the nail bed can cause a lot of frustration and embarrassment. They can also cause a bit of fearfear that you might have to show those nails in public, yes, but also fear from your family or housemates that you might pass the condition on to them as well.
Fungal toenails are not nearly as contagious a cold or flu, but it can be transferred from person to person under certain circumstances. And the penalty for transmission is high, since the condition wont simply go away in a few days. Indeed, fungal toenails can last indefinitely if not treated, so while they make their home in your feet, its best toat the very leastkeep them to yourself!
Here are some steps you can take to contain the fungus and reduce the risk of transmission:
These steps can protect your family during an ongoing infection, but the best long-term prevention strategy is treatment. If you only live with an active fungal infection for a few months, the risk of spreading it is relatively low. If you ignore your fungal nails for years , each new day is a new opportunity to infect others.
We can help with that, of course! As a matter of fact, we offer advanced laser therapy for fungal toenails, which has proven significantly more effective than drug-based treatments. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Sanjay Patel in either Milford or Hamden, CT, give us a call today at .
How Did I Get The Nail Fungus
Is toenail fungus contagious? Fungi growing in, beneath, or on the nail causes a fungal nail infection. Fungi develop in warm, damp conditions, therefore they may naturally overpopulate in this sort of setting.
The fungi that are already present in or on your body can cause nail infections. You might have caught a fungal infection if you came into touch with someone who has one. Toenail fungal infections are more frequent than fingernail fungal infections, most likely because your toes frequently confine to shoes, where they reside in a warm, wet environment. So no doubt your know the answer to is toenail fungus contagious
If you go to a nail salon for a manicure or pedicure, make sure to inquire about how the staff disinfects their equipment and how frequently they do so. If equipment like emery boards and nail clippers are not cleaned, they can transfer fungal diseases from person to person. Here are the most prevalent causes of toenail fungus.
1. A Family History Of Toenail Fungus:
Toenail fungus infection can be inherited, and specific families are predisposed to it more than others. Toenail fungus can occasionally observe at a younger age in some circumstances.
Toenail fungus is most frequent in men more than the age of 60, according to research. If you have a genetic history of toenail fungus, examine your feet frequently and contact a doctor right away if you suspect toenail fungus.
2. Toenail Fungus And Other Health Conditions:
3. Boots And Toenail Fungus:
Keep Your Nails Trimmed And Straight
While you may like the look of rounded or tapered toenails, keeping your nails straight is better for your foot health. Cutting your toenails straight across keeps them strong and helps you avoid ingrown toenails.
Youll also want to keep your toenails short. Short toenails help minimize debris buildup and help reduce your chances of snagging or breaking your toenails. This is important because when your toenails are broken or damaged, theyre more vulnerable to infection.
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What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors
In normal, healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas. Communal showers, such as those at a gym or swimming pools, are common sources. Going to nail salons that use inadequate sanitization of instruments in addition to living with family members who have fungal nails are also risk factors. Athletes have been proven to be more susceptible to nail fungus. This is presumed to be due to the wearing of tight-fitting, sweaty shoes associated with repetitive trauma to the toenails. Having athlete’s foot makes it more likely that the fungus will infect your toenails. Repetitive trauma also weakens the nail, which makes the nail more susceptible to fungal infection.
Elderly people and people with certain underlying disease states are also at higher risk. Anything that impairs your immune system can make you prone to getting infected with the fungus. These include conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis, or taking any immunosuppressive medications like steroids.
Dont Forget About Hygiene
Toenail fungus is contagious. Practice good foot hygiene by not sharing nail grooming supplies or shoes with other people. If you choose to get pedicures in a nail salon, be sure the salon thoroughly sanitizes and disinfects foot baths, nail clippers, and files before each use or consider bringing your own tools.
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Effective Alternative Remedies For Fungal Skin Infections
An important factor to prevent the fungus from repeatedly attacking is to maintain good hygiene levels. Using an antibacterial soap, changing clothes after a game or run, wiping the body dry after a shower, and applying antifungal powders are basic habits that go a long way in keeping fungal skin infections at bay.
Apart from medications, there are a few simple natural remedies that have their proven efficacy in treating fungal infections. They are:
- Apple Cider Vinegar – ACV is an excellent remedy for a number of health issues. It is especially beneficial in treating fungal skin infections such as ringworm. Apple cider vinegar is rich in antiseptic properties and is a deep cleanser. When applied, it works by killing the fungi, thereby preventing the chances of recurrent infections. To use apple cider vinegar, the affected area must be thoroughly cleaned with an antiseptic soap. After drying and cleaning the area, apply apple cider vinegar with a cotton ball. Doing this remedy can better the symptoms in no time.
- Tea Tree Oil – It is an essential oil that has natural antiseptic properties. Tea tree oil ointments are available and are known to provide immediate relief from skin infections. However, before application, the affected area must be thoroughly cleaned.
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During Manicure And Pedicure
Believe it or not, but the fungal spores can also survive on the metal surface for almost 48 hours or more. Therefore, whenever someone goes for a pedicure or manicure they should ensure that all the metal tools used for it are clean, and sterilized.
Imagine, someone with toenail fungus infection came for the manicure, and then the next hour you visited that saloon.
Now the fungal spore might reside in your toes, and grow within a few days. Those suffering with toenail fungus need to take care, if the saloon service is aware of you suffering with the toenail fungus. You should tell them very clearly, so that no one else can get the toenail fungus infection.
Killing Fungus Before It Can Spread
As we stated earlier in the guide, toenail fungus can spread very quickly if not treated. However, there is a product that will kill the fungus and if utilized correctly it can prevent reinfection from happening in the future. We recommend reading our guide on the best treatment for toenail fungal infection. Using any one of these products listed in the guide will help kill the fungus, which will eventually prevent it from spreading.
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What To Do About Toenail Fungus Under Your Nails
Are you embarrassed about your unsightly toenails?
If your toenails look discolored, thickened, or are becoming more brittle or painful, you may have toenail fungus under your nails.
Dont worry, youre not alone! Millions of Americans have toenail fungus infections, called onychomycosis. Its estimated to affect 10 percent of the general population, 20 percent of people over 60 years, and 50 percent of those older than 70 years.
The good news is there are a number of strategies that can help turn your discolored and unsightly nails into clearer, healthier-looking nails.
Fix Your Health Conditions:
- This is a pretty straightforward, and you probably already know some of the things they can fix.
- If you are severely overweight, you have to lose weight.
- You are diabetic, you have to get your blood sugars under control and get the problem fixed.
- If you are sweating in on your feet, 12 hours a day, you have to control the sweat, where better shoes and better socks.
- There are usually associated with conditions that result in toenail fungus.
- The bottom line is that health. Could get, the less likely you are to have any toenail fungus or health conditions in general.
- Keep in mind that foot fungus can spread to toenail fungus.
- It is essential to heal and remove them both!
- Consider the products below for best effect.
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What Symptoms Does A Toenail Fungal Infection Cause
In their very early stages, toenail fungal infections often cause very few noticeable symptoms. But once the fungus begins to grow, it can cause symptoms like:
- nail discoloration
- soreness in the nail area, especially when the area is pressed or when wearing shoes
- a foul odor emanating from the nail bed
What Tests Might I Have For Toenail Fungus
Your provider will probably take a small sample from underneath your nail to further analyze it. Viewing the cells under a microscope can confirm a toenail fungus diagnosis. If the initial test is negative, a scraping can be sent to see if the fungus grows out in a culture. It also helps your provider identify the type of fungus.
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I Am Afraid Of The Side Effects Of Taking Anti
Oral anti-fungals may interact with other drugs, so it is important that your physician is informed of all the prescription and non-prescription medicines you are taking. Since oral anti-fungals are mostly metabolized in the liver, they can affect the liver but this is rare. Your physician may request certain blood tests to check your liver function to ensure that it is safe for you to take the pills.
Treating Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment may not be necessary in mild cases of fungal nail infection. For more severe or troublesome cases, antifungal medication may be recommended.
A fungal nail infection is unlikely to get better without treatment, but if you’re not bothered by it you might decide it’s not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isn’t always effective.
Whether or not you decide to have treatment, you should still follow the self-help advice below to help stop the condition getting worse or spreading to others.
What Is The Prognosis Of Fungal Nails
Curing fungal nails can be difficult and treatment can take up to 18 months. Relapse and reinfection are common. Trying to remove or modify your risk factors, if possible, is essential to preventing reinfection. People who have medical illnesses that predispose them to fungal nails can have an even more difficult time eradicating the fungus.
How Is Toenail Fungus Treated
Toenail fungus is notoriously tricky to treat. You may need to treat the condition for several months to get rid of the fungus. Still, toenail fungus often comes back.
A dermatologist or podiatrist can explain your treatment options. If you have a mild case that doesnt bother you, your provider may recommend no treatment.
Toenail fungus treatment options include:
- Oral antifungal medication: You take prescribed medication, such terbinafine , itraconazole and fluconazole , to treat the fungi. You will need to take this medication every day for several months . Your provider may use blood tests to check for potential medication side effects. These medications can affect the liver and interact with other medications, so oral antifungals are not for everyone.
- Topical medication: You regularly apply a medication right on the nail. The medication treats the fungi over time. Topical medications are most effective when paired with oral medications.
- Laser treatments: Your provider directs a high-tech laser beam and special lights at the toenail to treat the fungus. Lasers are FDA approved for temporary increase of clear nail in nail fungus but is not a cure. Cure rates for laser treatment are lower than oral and topical mediations so they are not typically used as first line treatments for nail fungus.
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What Measures Can I Take To Avoid Acquiring A Fungal Nail Infection
- It is important that you keep your nails clean and trimmed. Refrain from removing the cuticle as this serves as a natural barrier from water and organisms getting inside the nail fold .
- Keep your feet dry. Fungi grow easily in moist, warm environments. You may try using foot or anti-fungal powder and wear cotton socks.
- Avoid walking barefoot in places such as communal locker rooms or public swimming pools
- Be careful about where you get a manicure or pedicure and make sure all tools and equipment are properly sterilized.
- Don’t share personal belongings such as socks, slippers, or shoes especially with people known to have onychomycosis. Laundering socks does not totally eliminate fungal elements from the material.
- Make sure to seek treatment if you suspect other fungal infections anywhere on the body as this can be transmitted to the nails which are much more difficult to treat.
Dr. Melinda Gooderham is the Medical Director at the SKiN Centre for Dermatology in Peterborough, Ontario. The centre includes a state-of-the-art Phototherapy and Psoriasis Treatment Centre, Patch Test Clinic, Laser Clinic, and Dermatology Research Centre. To learn more about Dr. Gooderham’s clinical research and ongoing studies visit: ResearchTrials.org – SKiN Centre for Dermatology
Damage To The Skin Around The Toenail:
The spread of pathogens along skins stratum corneum into the nail bed.
- This just means that the skin fungus migrates along the deeper layers of the skin and gets in underneath the nail plate.
- This is difficult to avoid because most shoes already have fungus in them.
- And you will eventually be on a beach, a pool or a shower barefoot and you may contact fungus.
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Treatment Options For Nail Fungus
If you are diagnosed with a fungal nail infection, your doctor or podiatrist will discuss treatment options.
It is important to realize that not all treatments work for all types of fungus infections. Your podiatrist may also recommend periodic checks to see if the condition has cleared up.
Here are some of the possible treatment options available:
Can I Wear Nail Polish If I Have Toenail Fungus
You may feel tempted to cover up a discolored toenail with nail polish. If you are using a topical antifungal, you probably should not use polish. Some providers may tell you not to wear it in any case. Polish traps in moisture from the nailbed . Because fungi thrive in moist environments, wearing nail polish may make a fungal infection worse. However, the nail continues to grow with or without polish.
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Are All Fungal Skin Infections Contagious
Fungi are known to thrive in the human body, making their homes in moist areas where skin surfaces meet. The most common areas of the human body that are susceptible to fungal attacks are found in between the toes, in the genital area, and under the breasts.
Most fungal skin infections are triggered by yeasts such as Candida or Tinea. Most fungi live on the upper surface of the skin or the epidermis and cannot penetrate into the skin. People who are overweight or obese are most susceptible to fungal skin infections as they have numerous skin folds. Fungal skin infections are also commonly seen in people who have diabetes, which is a chronic disease characterized by high blood sugar levels.
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Fungal infections affecting a certain part of the body can also lead to the appearance of rashes. These rashes are allergic reactions from the fungi and may not be as a result of touching the infected areas. Fungal infections are largely characterized by a red, irritated, or scaly rash in the commonly affected areas. Hence, a diagnosis based on its appearance can be easily made by healthcare providers. In cases when a detailed diagnosis needs to be performed to confirm the type of fungi, the diagnosis is carried out by scraping a small amount of the inflamed skin for a culture examination.
What If I Decided Not To Have Any Form Of Treatment
Onychomycosis is not life threatening and many have lived with the condition for years however, it can make someone more susceptible to secondary bacterial infection, particularly of the lower legs in those with poor circulation. Likewise, it may impose psychological stress because of the social stigma it carries and impact on daily life. Onychomycosis may also adversely affect ones occupation as it may affect the ability to perform certain tasks.
In a quality of life assessment of people affected by onychomycosis, the constant reoccurrence as well as the number of nails affected was shown to negatively affect quality of life. Moreover, 64 – 74% of those surveyed, admitted to embarrassment and lower self-image/self-esteem.
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