Have you ever had a toenail fungus?
We’re sure you hate the way it makes your nails look yellow, dirty, and cracked. Not to mention, the pain, discomfort, and public embarrassment it brings along!
You probably wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy! Then why expose your dear family members to the risk of catching the fungus?
Can Toenail Fungus Really Spread Within Families?
Doctors were always unsure when it came to cautioning their patients with toenail fungus about the spreading of the infection to their family members.
However, researchers have found evidence to support the hypothesis.
They studied 57 families in which at least one member had a toenail fungus and/or athlete’s foot.
Out of these, 19 families had at least two members who were infected.
The researchers used a combination of microbiology and DNA matching techniques and found that 42% of affected family members had identical infection-causing dermatophytes in their blood.
The fact that members of the same household had the same dermatophytes indicates that the infection was transmitted directly or indirectly from one member to the other.
How To Prevent Toenail Fungus From Spreading To Your Family
If you have toenail fungus, you must seek medical help immediately and work on treating the infection.
If not treated properly or on time, the infection can spread to other areas of your body.
Moreover, it can spread to a member of your family if you fail to take strict precautionary measures against its spread.
If, for some reason, it’s not possible for you to treat your toenail fungus immediately, at least make sure that you use an anti-fungal topical cream on the skin surrounding the fungus.
It’ll keep it from spreading and keep your sin intact.
While you’re experiencing the pain and discomfort of a toenail fungus, you should ensure to prevent it from spreading to others, as it is highly contagious.
The fungus thrives and grows in damp places, such as showers, pools, and locker rooms.
It can easily transfer to other surfaces on contact, including feet, footwear, and towels.
Toenail fungus can be difficult to treat – hence, prevention is always better than cure.
If you’re suffering from it now, try to stop it in its tracks so that none of your family members have to go through the same.
Here’s a helpful guide on how to prevent toenail fungus from spreading to your family.
1. Wear The Right Footwear
You must know that certain footwear makes it easy for the fungus to set in and spread.
Make sure that your family members wear footwear that is made from natural materials, as they would encourage the air to flow and circulate freely instead of trapping it.
In addition to this, they should wear moisture-wicking socks to prevent perspiration around their toes.
2. Stop Sharing Your Footwear
It’s not uncommon for family members to share footwear and socks when at home.
While sharing undoubtedly is a good habit, you should stop sharing your things with your family members if you have toenail fungus.
Keep your slippers and socks separately and warn everyone to not wear them.
3. Stay Alert In High-Risk Places
If you’re on a picnic with your family, you should stay alert while using the swimming pool or public facilities.
Never dive in the pool or walk into a public shower barefoot.
Besides this, make sure that all your family members wear sandals or shower shoes in these high-risk places so that they don’t get directly in touch with contaminated surfaces.
4. Keep Your Nail And Foot Care Tools To Yourself
Again, stop sharing your nail and foot care items and tools. You must have a separate set of nail clippers, emery boards, and nail filers.
In case it’s not possible, don’t forget to disinfect these items after you use them.
5. Don’t Forget To Disinfect The Shower After Use
You must know that toenail fungus can stick to hard surfaces too, including shower floors.
Hence, not only should you wear shower sandals or flip-flops but also ask your family members to do the same.
6. Use Anti-fungal Sprays Or Powders
For extra protection, you should consider applying anti-fungal powders or sprays to the inside of your shoes as well as your family’s footwear.
7. Clean Potentially Contaminated Surfaces
Always clean surfaces that are potentially contaminated or likely to be breeding grounds for fungus.
Places like showers should be on the top of your list.
8. Make Sure Your Bed Socks Are Clean And Breathable
If you share a bed with a family member, the risk of the infection spreading through shared linen simply increases.
You can minimize this risk by wearing clean and breathable socks to bed and washing the sheets regularly.
9. Keep Your Towels Separate
The microbes often cling to clothes and fabric and then transfer to the nails or other body parts of people who use them after you.
If you have toenail fungus, you should wash your towel immediately after using it once.
Don’t keep it hanging here or there for later use because your family members may end up touching it intentionally or unintentionally.
Apart from this, when you’re ready to step out of the shower, make sure that your feet are completely clean and dry.
10. Consider Pre-treating Your Feet
Pre-treating healthy feet is also one of the most effective ways to prevent toenail fungus from spreading to your family.
You should make it a habit to use anti-fungal products, including sprays and powders on your family members’ feet, shoes, and socks.
This simple trick will keep the pathogen from taking hold.
With these tips and tricks, you won’t have to worry about how to prevent toenail fungus from spreading to your family ever again!
We understand that families share so many things living under one roof but the more effort you put into preventing this problem, the less you’ll have to stress over your family’s health and wellbeing.
After all, active prevention is the key!
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