How Does Toenail Fungus Spread?

How Does Toenail Fungus Spread?

May 09
How Does Toenail Fungus Spread?

Toenail fungus is also known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium. It’s a medical condition in which fungi infect the nails, leading to nail discoloration. The infection is not dangerous, but can cause changes and itchiness to your nails. Doctors recommend using an over-the-counter antifungal cream for treatment. If left untreated, toenail fungus can lead to foot odor, foot pain or even loss of nails. Moreover, toenail fungus can be highly contagious. If you ignore the infection, it can spread and become worse. Here’s everything you need to know about toenail fungus.

What are the causes of toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus is caused by various types of fungi. But, the most common type is dermatophyte. This kind of fungi mostly survives in warm, dark and moist conditions. Your nails, especially nail bed, can provide an ideal environment for it to grow.  

Here are 9 reasons why you get infected with toenail fungus, according to the doctors:

  • You walk barefoot in public.
  • You use public showers or swimming pools.
  • You suffer nail injury or trauma.
  • You have weak foot circulation, such as diabetics.
  • You get pedicures at a salon.
  • You use fake nails.
  • You have a weakened immune system.
  • You have another fungal infection, such as athlete’s foot.
  • You practice poor personal hygiene.

Doctors also said that people who are 65 or older can be at greater risk of toenail fungus.

Related: Fungal Infection: Poor Hygiene Could Be To Blame for Nail Fungus

Walking barefoot can put you at higher risk for toenail fungus

Walking barefoot can put you at higher risk for toenail fungus

What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus can affect part of the nail or the whole nail. Its symptoms usually begin with a white or yellow streak or spot on the nail. For many sufferers, a mild discoloration of the nail may occur. If you notice the following signs and symptoms, you are likely to have toenail fungus.

  • Nail flaking
  • Nail thickening
  • Nail discoloration (whitish to yellow-brown)
  • Distorted nail shape
  • Foul odor from nails
  • Thick, dry and crumbling nails
  • Pain and itchiness between the toes and around the foot

To confirm the diagnosis, you should check with your doctor. He or she can examine your nails or take a sample of your infected nail for laboratory test.

Related: How Do You Know if You Have Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus symptoms

Toenail fungus symptoms

How does toenail fungus spread?

Like many other fungal infections, toenail fungus is highly contagious. If you do not treat it promptly, it can spread to other parts of your body and to other people. Here are 5 common ways in which toenail fungus becomes contagious.

  1. Toenail fungus can spread to other toes

It’s possible for fungi to start in the toenail and then spread to other toes and toenails. This happens when a clean nail comes into contact with an infected toenail. If you use infected items for another toenail, this can also make the fungus spread. These items may include nail clippers, towels, shoes and bath mats.

  1. Toenail fungus can spread all over the body

Toenail fungus can spread to other parts of the body if it comes into contact with those areas. For example, the fungus can spread to the groin, causing jock itch. This infection is most common in men, particularly older ones. Women can also contract jock itch if they have sex with an infected male partner.  Common symptoms of jock itch are:

  • Red or pink rashes in the groin
  • Pain and odor
  • Itchiness

If not treated, jock itch can spread to the inner thighs, genitals and anal region.

Also, toenail fungus can affect other skin areas of the body, such as the scalp, feet and hands.

Related: The Facts You Should Know About Jock Itch

Toenail fungus can spread all over the body

Toenail fungus can spread all over the body

  1. Toenail fungus can spread internally

Toenail fungus can also enter the blood, causing a fungal blood infection. Its symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Fever
  • Flu-like- symptoms

This problem mostly occurs in those who are at the following risks:

  • Have serious problems with fungal infections.
  • Have undergone chemotherapy.
  • Have bone marrow transplant.
  • Have diabetes, severe burns or renal failure.
  • Have HIV.

So, get your toenail fungus treated immediately. And contact a doctor if you think you’re experiencing a fungal blood infection.

  1. Toenail fungus can spread to the bone

There is no evidence that toenail fungus can directly spread to the bone. But, when the fungus invades the bone, it can cause bone infections. This occurs when your toenail fungus becomes severe or left untreated for long time.

  1. Toenail fungus can spread from one person to another

It’s completely true that toenail fungus can spread from one person to another. This may happen to your family members who usually share your items. Toenail fungus is contagious via skin contact with the affected skin and objects. So, avoid touching or sharing personal items with infected people.

Toenail fungus can spread from one person to another

Sharing infected items can cause toenail fungus to spread to other people

How to stop toenail fungus before it spreads

If you have toenail fungus, start to treat it immediately. The few tips below can help you in treating and preventing the infection.

  • Use over-the-counter topical antifungal creams. Fugacil is one of the best antifungal creams for toenail fungus. It helps reduce symptoms and stop active outbreaks. With antifungal nanoparticles, Fugacil can work 5 times faster than other traditional creams. Its natural ingredients are all approved by FDA, providing users with peace of mind. Especially, Fugacil can kill the fungus immediately, thus preventing a recurrent infection. The cream is available in some doctor’s offices and even online. You can ask your doctor or access its main website for help.
  • Maintain good foot hygiene at all times. Keep your feet dry and clean. After bathing, dry your nails thoroughly. Regularly moisturize your feet.
  • Do not wear nail polish.
  • Change shoes and socks frequently.
  • Avoid sharing your shoes with other people.
  • Don’t walk barefoot around your house or in public places.

Related: How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus Fast and Effectively

Moisturize your foot regularly to prevent toenail fungus

Moisturize your foot regularly to prevent toenail fungus

Toenail fungus is highly contagious. Without treatment, it can spread to the entire body and to other people. If you get infected with this, receive treatment immediately. Plus, keep your good hygiene and eat a healthy diet to avoid recurring infections.

 

 

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