Is Nail Fungus Contagious?

One of the potential problems that can cause an unsightly appearance in your toenails is nail fungus, or onychomycosis. This condition can make it so toenails become disformed, making them thicker and discoloring them. The nail plate keeps the fungus in one place, which makes it hard to cure the problem.

Although people often call this problem “fungal toenails,” it isn’t always caused by a fungus. In fact, the tiny organisms that cause this infection can be either yeasts or fungus, and they can affect both fingernails and toenails. It may be more common in toenails, however, as they’re commonly covered up in shoes, making more favorable conditions for growing the organisms that cause this infection.

Once diagnosed with this condition, a common question people ask is “Is Nail Fungus Contagious?” Unfortunately, it is contagious, so don’t share any items used to care for the nails, such as nail clippers, wash cloths, nail files or towels, with other people when an infection like this is present. Without taking the proper precautionary measures in regard to hygiene, the nail fungus may spread to other members of the family, making it that much harder to get rid of.

Nail fungus can be cured using non-toxic, herbal remedies, which will treat the nail as it grows so newer parts of the nail don’t have the same unsightly appearance. Internal treatments may be necessary rather than topical treatments, since the fungus can get into the nail itself, but some topical creams are formulated to penetrate through the nail and treat the fungus. Potential treatments include Zetaclear and Sporanox, which can be quite effective. More serious cases may require prescription medications.

Treating nail fungus requires the proper conditions, however. Dark, wet and warm environments encourage the growth of fungus and yeasts, making it harder to treat this medical condition even with the appropriate medications. Don’t wear wet shoes or socks, as this is the ideal environment for growing nail fungus. Keeping shoes in the sun when they’re not being worn can help kill off any fungus while drying them out so the spreading of nail fungus is less likely. Consider wearing sandals on hot days to minimize the amount of time feet are hot and sweaty.


  1. I was hoping for more information about FINGERnail fungus being contagious to others outside a family environment where people share towels, nail clippers, etc.
    If a person has a FINGERnail fungus, NOT TOENAIL fungus, how great is the risk of it being spread to colleagues in a workplace where goods may be handled by a number of people.

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