How Contagious Is Toenail Fungus and What Causes It

Most of us spend our days not thinking about the soles of our feet. Happily strolling along without a thought of acquiring toenail fungus. But then one day we realize that something is a miss beneath the clamor of our stomping feet – all of a sudden you feel something funky.

An acute pain suddenly wakes your toenails up that shoots up to your leg. You take off your shoes and look at the problem. It’s one of your toe nails. It’s yellow, cracking, and a bit painful. You go to your nearest doctor to let it get checked. You ask yourself how did you get it? Where does it come from? How does it happen? Is toenail fungus contagious? How do you treat it?

Toenail fungi and Symptoms

 You may not have known it but it’s time for you to get educated in the realms of toenail fungus!

First of all, what happens when you acquire this fungus? It occurs when the fungus attacks your nails or the skin under it, called the nail bed, that leaves your nails brittle and a bit weak. It may inhibit the growth of the nail leaving the nail bed exposed to further contamination or injury. The development of the nails with this infection may leave it with a yellowish stain and a natural growth deformity. It can be a bit nasty to handle it when it gets from bad to worse. It is highly desirable to consult a doctor for alleviation treatments

toenail fungus contagious

Mind you that toenail fungi are highly contagious so it is highly recommended that you treat it as soon as possible. Skin to skin contact may infect another person, so be wary of who you come into contact with. You don’t want your loved ones to be infected unconsciously with this condition. You must be aware of the conditions in your household to prevent this from happening.

It is also possible that the fungi may spread to different toenails, leaving you with separate infections through your feet. It is advisable to wrap the initially infected toe until the symptoms subside. For the mean time, boost your immune system to help fight the toenail fungus to aid in staving off future contamination. Eating healthy and drinking vitamins and minerals greatly lowers the possibility of it spreading.

People with diabetes, or of old age, with weak immune systems, have a higher chance of contracting the fungi.

Contracting toenail fungus

There are a lot of ways to contract toenail fungus and it’s usually the places where you take foot hygiene and protection for granted. Generally, the most common way of transmission is by developing athlete’s foot by either poor foot hygiene or exposing your skin in public areas.  As the old saying goes, prevention is better than the cure.

In order to control the acquisition of toenail fungus, always remember to wash your feet after a day’s worth of sweating your feet. It’s highly likely that the moisture from them causes the fungus favorable conditions to germinate. Dry them up properly to stave off toenail fungus contagion.  Foot powders are a great help if you have trouble with keeping your feet dry throughout the day. Also bringing extra socks wouldn’t hurt, if you still have a problem even with the application of foot powders.

toenail fungus contagious - foot powders

It’s also highly inevitable to contract it from public washrooms especially if you’re walking around barefoot with no means of protection. Remember that toenail fungus is contagious especially in the showers, where most people neglect to safeguard their feet. It is advisable to wear footwear, such as slippers or flipflops, to aid in shielding your skin from the floor showers.

Another area of concern would be nail salons that don’t sterilize their equipment. If you’re the type of person that likes getting their nails done then this is your time to be mindful. Toenail fungus can lay dormant between the creases or joints of nail apparatus that may lead to your contamination. Be vigilant of their hygiene practices before you acquire their services to assist in warding off toenail fungus.

These are just the range of possibilities not limited to the acquisition of the highly contagious toenail fungus. Broken skin or wounds that are exposed to contaminated areas can easily get infected. Thus, it is highly recommended to be mindful of your foot hygiene.


For those who have already acquired the toenail fungus, there are various treatments for you to use. They are not a hundred percent solutions but can aid in alleviating its symptoms.

The best possible way to treat toenail infections would be consult a doctor about it. Home remedies and over-the-counter products aren’t recommended as they do not provide dependable results. Instead, the doctors may endorse anti-fungal medication to prevent further spreading. Other than that, these aren’t the end all – be all ministrations for your infection.

Having toenail fungus infection does not spell the passing of your toenail health. It may leave some of your nails completely damaged over time. But in treating them with proper care you don’t have to worry about future contamination of other uninfected toenails.


Now that you know the answer to ” is toenail fungus contagious”, it’s time for you to get moving. When you identify that you have acquired symptoms of it, take action immediately. Be observant of your toenail health and prevent future spreading. Consult your doctor if it gets worse, but most of all, be hygienic when it comes to your foot. Even if there are a lot of solutions to this problem, I cannot reiterate enough the wisdom that prevention is better than the cure. So stop it before it gets worse!

Sources and References

  1. BetterHealth Channel Nails – fingernail and toenail problems
  2. ClinicalTrials Using Light Therapy to Treat Toe Nail Fungus
  3. MedlinePlus Fungal nail infection

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