How Contagious is Toenail Fungus?

While toenail fungus can be treated, it can also spread to your friends, family and other people in your community.  Here is a look at how toenail fungus is transmitted and how you can be prepared:

Direct Contact

Toenail fungus spreads through physical contact. So, be sure to prevent direct foot-to-foot contact with your partner and/or family.  Underlying conditions like diabetes can make people especially receptive to fungus. Fortunately, toenail fungus is usually restricted to your feet, so careful hugs will not be an issue. Washing your hands regularly and putting on socks before your pants will reduce any risk of direct transmission.

Indirect Contact

Toenail fungus can also be transmitted through supplies like hygiene products. Avoid using someone else’s nail polish or clippers and make sure others are not using your toiletries. The same applies to getting a pedicure. Do not share your comfy house shoes or beach towels until the treatment is finished. If possible, wash your socks separately from other clothes. Studies show washing your feet at 60ºC/140ºF will eliminate most spores.

Because toenail fungus can be spread through wet and dry surfaces like your kitchen floor, we recommend wearing breathable socks and shoes inside your home. Wipe and disinfect surfaces that come into contact with your feet.

The best way to minimize contagion is a thorough hygiene routine, so encouraging family members to trim their nails and to keep their feet clean and dry will go a long way. Temporarily applying anti-fungal powder is another strategy. Here is more information:

As always, please give us a call with any other questions on this topic or any foot related issue!