How Does Toenail Fungus Spread, and is it Contagious?

There is little research available on how toenail fungus is spread. Fungal spores are usually invisible to the naked eye and are therefore hard to diagnosis without medical intervention. One study estimates that approx 35 million people have some type of toenail fungus or onychomycosis. Onychomycosis is chronic and persistent, therefore it is hard extremely hard to treat. Toenail fungus’ close cousin is Athlete’s foot, is caused by the same spores (dermatophytes) but Athlete’s foot affects the skin while onychomycosis infects the nail bed. What happens when someone is diagnosed with onychomycosis? If left untreated it is highly likely the infection will spread to other nails and other people. Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum of the Center for Medical Mycology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center shows that toenail fungus, as well as athlete’s foot, can be spread to other members of the household by the infected person. In their study, they found that out of their sample 42% of those with toenail fungus spread it to at least two other people in their household. On top of this, they found that within that group approximately 80% of the people who developed toenail fungus developed the most common strain. This confirms the risk one can put their loved ones in if they have untreated toenail fungus.

By |2018-10-02T14:12:27-07:00October 2nd, 2018|