Fungus 411

How To Avoid Spreading Nail Fungus Among Your Family

Nathan Gunn
October 21, 2022

One of life’s greatest joys is time spent with and around family. It does, however, increase the likelihood of family members sharing unpleasant things, such as illnesses and infections. As an infectious disease, nail fungus is no exception (and neither are the associated fungal skin infections atheltes’ foot and ringworm).  Indeed, we have a lot of patients at Caratin Rx that got their nail fungus from their partner. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your family safe from nail fungus transmission between members.

Stepping back, we know fingernail and toenail fungus is easily spread and difficult-to-treat. Why? It thrives in warm, moist environments such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and even showers - we people have their bare feet exposed. It spreads to other surfaces that touch our feet, items like towels and footwear. It is far better for your family to avoid catching the infection than to try to treat it after the fact.

How To Keep Your Family From Getting Nail Fungus

Here are some precautions you can take to keep the fungus at bay and reduce the risk of transmission:

  • Don’t just treat yourself, treat your family: Of all our recommendations - this is the most basic and important. If you cure yourself, but are still sharing a shower or nail clippers with an infected partner, you are likely to become reinfected.
  • Avoid Sharing Socks and Shoes: Fungi can thrive in wet clothing, especially shoes and socks. Sharing these items with others is never a good idea, especially if one of you has a fungal infection.
  • Don’t Share a Reused Towel: The microbes can cling to fabric and spread to other nails or other parts of the skin, causing infections such as athlete's foot or ringworm. Everyone should have their own towels. 
  • Don’t Share Nail Or Foot Care Tools: Ideally, each person should have their own set of nail clippers, nail files, emery boards, and so on. If not, ensure that they are disinfected between uses.
  • Disinfect The Shower After Using It: Fungi can also adhere to hard surfaces, such as shower floors. To be extra safe, consider wearing shower shoes or flip-flops in the shower, and make sure everyone else does too.
  • Wear clean, Breathable Socks While Going to Bed: If you share a bed with another person, the fungus could spread to them through shared linens. Transmission is less likely if you wear clean socks to bed and wash your sheets often. 

These precautions can protect your family during an ongoing infection, but treatment is the best long-term prevention strategy. If you ignore your fungal nails, each new day represents a new chance to infect others.

To summarize, nail hygiene is critical in the prevention of nail fungus. Toenail fungus is treatable, but it's far better for your family's toes if you can avoid it entirely. If you are concerned about fungus or if someone in your family already has it, consider Caratin Rx to get it treated before it spreads. 

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