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Is Toenail Fungus Contagious?

 Is Toenail Fungus Contagious?

Have you ever gone for a walk in the woods after a heavy rain, and noticed all the mushrooms springing up out of nowhere? Fungi can reproduce and spread rapidly under the right conditions.

Many types of mushrooms make a delicious addition to your dinner, but other types of fungi are less pleasant. Some types of fungi can infect your body, creating problematic changes and symptoms. This includes toenail fungus infection, also known as onychomycosis.

And, like other types of fungus, toenail fungus can really spread! At The Foot Care Group, experienced podiatrist Dr. Steve Sharlin has seen just how contagious toenail fungus can really get. He diagnoses and treats cases of foot and toenail fungus from his offices in Hinsdale, Libertyville, and the Streeterville neighborhood of the city of Chicago, Illinois.

Where could you have caught toenail fungus? The answer is, anywhere this fungi flourishes! And, because of how contagious and hard-to-eradicate toenail fungus can be, you may need professional treatment to resolve the problem and restore your toenail health.

Good conditions for toenail fungus

Toenail fungus can be caused by several different types of fungi, the most common being dermatophytes. Like other forms of foot fungus, toenail fungus flourishes in warm, dark, damp environments.

You can catch toenail fungus from sharing shower floor space or other barefoot conditions with an infected individual. Sharing shoes and socks is another way to transfer a toenail fungus infection from one person to another.

When you develop a toenail fungus infection, you also become infectious to others. Your condition doesn't just affect you, it can also put members of your team, household, or community at higher risk as well.

Risk factors for toenail fungus

You’re most likely to develop a fungal infection in the nail of your big toe, but any of your toenails can become affected by fungus. The infection can also spread from your foot to your nail, and the other way around. And, an untreated fungal infection can even spread from one of your toenails to the others, increasing the number of your nails impacted by the problem.

You’re at greater risk for toenail fungus problems if you’re regularly exposed to good conditions for picking up infections. Your risk also goes up if you have skin or nail injuries, diabetes or poor blood flow, or if you have a skin condition like psoriasis.

Getting rid of toenail fungus

Also like other fungal infections, toenail fungus can be stubborn and hard to eradicate. The condition may seem to resolve, only to flare back up again later. You can end up spending a lot of time and money on at-home, over-the-counter toenail fungus treatments.

Dr. Sharlin offers professional-grade treatment options for toenail fungus that can successfully treat and clear up even the most stubborn or severe symptoms. He can also advise you on effective prevention strategies.

Don’t let a toenail fungus problem spread to become painful, disfiguring, or permanently damaging. Protect your feet from fungal infections, clean your feet regularly, and, if you need support with toenail fungus, get in touch with Dr. Sharlin at The Foot Care Group for evaluation and treatment.

Watch out for symptomatic changes indicative of nail fungus. These include the affected nail growing thicker, changing color, growing brittle, breaking or crumbling, separating from your nail bed, or becoming misshapen or bad-smelling. If your condition worsens, or you start to have trouble walking due to discomfort, contact Dr. Sharlin right away.

Request your appointment at The Foot Care Group of Hinsdale, Libertyville, and Chicago, Illinois online, or call now to book.

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