This article was reviewed by Dr. Emilija Ashtalkoska on August 9th, 2018. Products listed therein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.
Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common medical issue that affects 10% of the adult population, especially those with weakened immune systems. Fungi infect nail beds and this results in discoloring of the nail. Most commonly turning them yellow or black, or developing white spots. Suffers quickly become terrified when this change happens – all of a sudden going to the beach or wearing sandals becomes a harrowing experience! Even worse, if left untreated the infection can lead to terrible foot odor or even painful nails. But is nail fungus contagious?
Nail fungus is highly contagious.
If you do not treat the nail infection promptly, it could spread throughout your nails, and even to your skin or groin. If you are not proactive in destroying the fungi, you could even give it to your partner, friends, or even children. Stop feeling embarrassed, and do not hurt the people in your life!
Table of Contents
How To Treat Nail Fungus & Stop It From Spreading
Obviously, the first thing you need to do is start treating the infection as soon as possible! Timing is vital because the longer the fungi has time to grow and spread, the more difficult it becomes to treat. We recommend reading our best nail fungus treatment guide. Start treating your nail fungus immediately before implementing the other measures in this guide – otherwise, the fungus will keep spreading!
Maintain Proper Hygiene
Make sure that you are maintaining good foot hygiene at all times. Always keep your nails trimmed – this will make it easier for the topical treatment to penetrate the nail bed, and it will also help prevent against reinfection and spreading. Always dry your nails completely after bathing or interacting with a body of water. Fungi love moisture, so staying dry will help prevent infections from spreading to other nails and other individuals. Also, when visiting public showers and saunas, make sure you wear sandals!
Go Clothes Shopping
Over time, the fungi can get embedded in the pieces of your wardrobe that come into contact with the infection. The most common instances include:
It’s time to treat yourself – Throw out your old socks or gloves and purchase new articles of clothing. You’ll feel comfy in your new socks, and you’ll prevent fungi from disseminating! Additionally, we recommend utilizing anti-fungal spray or powder to remove fungi spores from your shoes.
Wash Your Sheets (With Some Extra Fighting Power)
Remember to constantly wash your sheets in hot water, and purchase some additional laundry additives. Popular options include:
- PediFix Funga Soap with Tea Tree Oil
- Defense Antibacterial & Antifungal Soap
- Borax Laundry booster
These will kill the fungus and prevent them from infecting your partner, roommates, or children. In addition, make sure you wash your laundry with water at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit. According to a study in the International Journal of Dermatology, washing socks at 140 degrees Fahrenheit can kill many of the molds and pathogens that cause nail fungus, including athlete’s foot.
Do Not Use Bleach! It is a common misconception that bleach kills fungus and other molds. Research shows that bleach can help aid in restoring the original color of infected surfaces by removing some molds, but leaves residual pathogens intact. These means that the fungus will inevitably grow back! We recommend using a product created specifically for the purpose of removing nail fungus, such as PediFix Funga Soap with Tea Tree Oil.
Do Your Research
Do you know where your nail fungus originated from? Make sure you research common sources of nail fungus so you can take better steps in the future to avoid contracting foot fungus. Family, nail salons, and wet places are some of the most common places people contract nail infections from. Wear sandals in public places, avoid walking around barefoot, and always dry your nails after being exposed to moisture.
Nail fungus is highly contagious, so take action today and prevent it from spreading to your loved ones. Read about our most recommended treatments.
Sources for more information on nail fungus:
- https://academic.oup.com/jac/article/45/5/639/746736 – A study about the efficacy of tea tree oil against microbes