Is Toenail Fungus Contagious
Spring is here, and youre looking forward to letting your feet see the light of day again. Unfortunately, fungi are lying in wait, and theyre looking for a host namely your feet and toenails.
To avoid contracting toenail fungus this spring , you remain vigilant about protecting your feet against this fungal infection.
To help ward off toenail fungus, the highly qualified podiatry team here at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle thought wed outline a few prevention techniques to keep your feet looking great this spring and summer. As part of this discussion, we take a look at whether toenail fungus is contagious and how we can treat the problem should you become infected.
Myth : It Means Discoloured And Crumbly Nails
“Most people are unaware what a fungal nail looks like. Misconceptions being that people believe fungal nail only appears as severely discoloured and crumbly nails. The early stages of fungal nails may just start with a simply discolouration and no change in texture of the nail. If you’re noticing different colours, it’s important to visit a specialist to advise what is happening to your toes.”
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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Words From Our Patients
âThe appointment process was simple and stress free. The office was very accommodatingâ¦ I know I can put all my confidence into NoVa Foot and Ankle.â
âAt my first visit, I was given on-site x-rays and provided the results immediatelyâ¦ NoVa Foot and Ankle has taken great care of me.â
âI was in & out of this office for 7 months & I would highly recommend themâ¦ Thank you guys so much for everything youâve done to get me back to where I was!â
âTotally satisfied with the whole team and Dr Parish who is always so great with awesome patient relationship skills and a true professional healer.â
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How Long Does It Take For Vinegar To Kill Toenail Fungus
The antifungal properties also make vinegar soaks a good idea for people who have toenail fungus. Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes daily in a vinegar bath until the infection subsides. You can increase the length of time in the soak gradually. It may take two to three weeks or longer to see improvement in symptoms.
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Can You Get Nail Fungus From Nail Polish
So is this story just a total bummer for toenail-fungus sufferers like poor Liz?
Im just so over it, she said with a deep sigh, admitting that she has toenail envy when she sees people who have pretty, freshly pedicured feet.
No, says Tracey Vlahovic. In fact, the FDA has just approved a new topical treatment for fungus, the brand name is Jublia. Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals expects sales of $800 million in the U.S. And another product will come out shortly.
Its a class of antifungals were all familiar with, Vlahovic said. The data there is very nice, its beautiful, and I think that patients will really like the further topical options that are coming out.
The new topicals have higher cure rates than topical options currently on the market and they can be used under nail polish, something thats very important to many women who have nail fungus.
Vlahovic says there is currently a lot of movement in this field, which has been stagnant for a while but even with better treatments, patients have to accept one bitter truth: There is no quick fix for this.
Nothing is going to work within a week. Nothing is going to work within a month, you must give things time, Vlahovic said.
So, if any person or product promises you to cure this thing quickly just dont buy it.
Touching Your Feet Unnecessarily
In some rare cases, it has been noticed that the toenail fungus also reached the nails of the hands. The main cause for such an unfortunate event is constantly touching the toenails.
If you feel that you have been infected with the toenail fungus, then you should not touch the toenail again and again. It will gradually reach to your fingernails, and you can develop fungus on the fingernails as well.
You should always clean your hands with sanitizer, or wash it with soap once you have touched the toenail.
Sometimes, people think enough to clean their toenails before applying anything, it is not enough. You need to wash your hands, no matter if your toenails are clean, clean toenails does not mean that the fungus is gone. It is still there, and can spread on your other body part.
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Treatments For Fungal Nail Infections
Treatment isnt always needed for a mild fungal nail infection because its unlikely to cause any further problems and you may feel its not worth treating.
Whether you decide to have treatment or not, you should still practise good foot hygiene to stop the infection getting worse or spreading to others.
Speak to your GP or pharmacist if youre bothered by the appearance of the affected nail, or its causing problems such as pain and discomfort. Theyll probably recommend:
- antifungal tablets tablets taken once or twice a day for several months
- antifungal nail paints special paints applied directly to the nail over several months
- nail softening kits where a paste is used to soften infected parts of the nail, before theyre removed with a scraping device
A procedure to remove the nail completely may be recommended in severe cases. Laser treatment, where a high-energy laser is used to destroy the fungus, is also an option. But this is only available privately and can be expensive.
You can reduce your risk of developing a fungal nail infection by:
Nail salon equipment can sometimes be the source of fungal nail infections. If you regularly visit a salon, make sure any equipment used is properly sterilised between uses.
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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.
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Can Toenail Fungus Spread Through Nail Polish
The answer here isnt so clear cut. Its kind of a yes, but maybe not in quite the way you might expect.
In terms of direct spread of the fungus from nail to nail through a bottle of polish, the chances of this happening are fairly low. A bottle of polish isnt exactly the most conducive environment for fungal growth.
However, while the risk is low, it isnt exactly zero, either. We would still strongly recommend you not share nail polish with any other person, whether at home or at the salon.
The bigger concern is that simply wearing nail polish in the first place can make your toenails more susceptible to fungal infection. Even a clear coat of polish can make nails more brittle, crumbly, and less breathable, especially if you keep your toenails painted for more than a week at a time. This makes you more likely to contract toenail fungus, especially if you already have athletes foot or a fungal infection on a different toenail.
Our final verdict, then, is that you should only use nail polish in moderation , and you should avoid sharing your polish with anyone else. If you want to be extra safe, you can get separate bottles for your infected and non-infected toes.
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.
ReferenceGold LFS and Rosen T. Onychomycosis: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies. Dermatology News . March 2016:2-15.
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Toenail Fungus And Other Health Conditions
Some chronic medical conditions may increase the risk of a toenail fungal infection. These include a history of poor circulation, diabetes, the human immunodeficiency virus , or any other illness that may compromise your immune system or interfere with blood flow to your toes. If you have a chronic health condition, take extra precautions to keep your feet clean and dry.
Do Certain Sports Put Your Nails At Risk For Injury
We definitely see a lot of nail problems with sports that require a lot of running, dancing or kicking. Chronic rubbing of the toe on the toe-box of shoes can cause lifting and bruising of the nail.
If you do a lot of running, keep nails short, and choose shoes with a wider toe box. And at the gym, be sure to wear flip-flops in the locker room and by the pool, so you dont pick up a fungus.
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I Bite My Nails Sometimesdoes It Matter
Biting nails and the skin around them is a bad habit. People who bite their nails dont like to do it, but its hard to stop. Youre introducing bacteria from the nail into the mouth and creating an opening in the skin or under the nail that can introduce bacteria, fungus or yeast that can cause infection.
Dani Pro Doctor Formulated Nail Polish
This one is a unique formulae having undecylenic acid, it is an anti-fungal acid that is commonly used to treat the toenail fungus. Unlike the regular nail polishes, it does not contain any toxic chemicals. So that you should not get any type of severe infection.
How is it?
Its formula is quite simple. All the ingredients are toxicity free, and cruelty free. you can safely use it even when you have some nail injury. The undecylenic acid is good for the health of your toenail as it is antifungal and antibacterial.
These are available in different metallic shades too, mostly the hotter colors.
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What You Need To Know About Hydrogen Peroxide And Toenail Fungus
You may have come across the craziest recipes when it comes to treating toenail fungus.
Toenail fungus is not only unsightly, but it is also painful and can result in permanent nail damage.
It typically begins as a yellow or white spot at the tip of the fingernail. At this point, you may think the condition is harmless.
However, once you have it, you cant wear sandals or closed-in shoes anymore.
As the toenail sears with pain, the simple act of slipping into a shoe is pure torture.
When the fungal infection penetrates deeper into the skin, the nail will quickly begin to discolor, crumble, and thicken.
And, the worst bit? The fungus can attack several nails at once.
In most cases, the condition remains mild and isnt painful.
But if your toenail fungus is worsening over time and damaging your nails, you need aggressive treatment to kill the fungus once and for all.
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Thoughts On Over The Counter Nail Fungus Treatments Are There Any That Might Work
My doctor told me that Vicks Vapor Rub is effective in treating toenailfungus. I have been using it for approximately 3 weeks, but I cannot sayfor sure that it is having any effect. What have others said about itsuse for toenail fungus?
Your doctor is a nut.
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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 youre not bothered by it you might decide its not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isnt 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.
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How Do I Know If I Have A Fungal Nail Infection
Because other infections can affect the nail and mimic symptoms of a fungal nail infection, the only way to confirm a diagnosis is to see a doctor. Theyll take a scraping of the nail and look under a microscope for signs of fungus.
In some cases, your doctor may send the sample to a lab for analysis and identification.
Over-the-counter products arent usually recommended to treat nail infections since they dont provide reliable results. Instead, your doctor may prescribe an oral antifungal medication, such as:
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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 Is The Best Treatment For Toenail Fungus
The treatment of toenail fungus is tough. To remove the fungus, you may need to treat the disease for several months. Even yet, toenail fungus resolves frequently. Your treatment choices might be explained by a dermatologist or a podiatrist. If you have a little illness that does not bother you, your physician may advise you to avoid treatment.
Treatment Options For Toenail Fungus Usually Involve:
Oral Antifungal Medication:
To treat the fungus, you take suggested medications such as terbinafine, itraconazole, and fluconazole. This drug must be used regularly for several months. Blood tests may be used by your provider to check for potential medication adverse effects. Because these treatments can harm the liver and combine with other drugs, oral antifungals are not recommended.Weve found the best treatment for toenail fungus right here!
You apply for medicines directly to the nail regularly. Over time, the drug kills the fungus. Topical treatments work best when combined with oral drugs.
To cure the fungus, your physician aims for a high-tech laser beam and special optics at the toenail. Lasers are FDA-approved, but they are not a treatment. Because laser therapies have lower cure rates than oral and topical medications, they are not usually applied as first-line therapies for nail fungus.
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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.
Locker Rooms And Toenail Fungus
If youre a swimmer, you neednt worry about a chlorinated pool increasing your risk of toenail fungus, but the locker room is another story. Wet, humid areas are prime for breeding for toenail fungal infections. Swimmers should always wear foot gear in the locker rooms and showers, Zinkin says. Also, dry your feet thoroughly after swimming and showering and before slipping back into your regular shoes.
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Why Does Toenail Fungus Cause Nails To Fall Off
Toenail fungus is a pesky thing, and it likes to grow in the space between your toe, your toenail, as well as inside the nail itself. If this fungus is left unchecked and is allowed to run rampant, it can eventually cause the nail to slowly separate from the nail bed.
This can eventually cause a total detachment of the nail.
In addition, toenail fungus can cause the nail to become very brittle and easily broken. Accidental injury can be another reason for losing a toenail to nail fungus.
And I know what youâre thinking. âIf it falls off great! Now Iâm rid of it.â
But itâs not that simple.
If your toenail falls off without fungal treatment, as it grows back in it will likely become reinfected.
If your infected toenail falls off, start using topical antifungal treatments so as your nail grows back it wonât be infected with the same lingering fungus.