Toenail fungus, an infection which thrives in warm, damp environments and causes nails to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge, can turn out to be more than a nuisance within a household. Walking on the same mats and bathroom floors as well as sharing socks, shoes or towels seriously promotes its proliferation withing various members of the same family. The fact that it can’t be transmitted through the air, though, means that a handful of simple preventive measures can greatly contribute to avoiding picking up this nasty infection.
So, to prevent toenail fungus from spreading to your family, make sure you abide by the following rules:
- Wash your feet and dry them thoroughly before putting on your socks and shoes. It has been well established that fungi burgeon in warm and humid environments. Therefore, it is vital that you wash your socks (and shoes) carefully and leave them to dry in order to protect yourself and your loved ones from a potential toenail fungus drag.
- Don’t wear each other’s shoes or socks. Contaminated footwear is an almost guaranteed way to contract the infection from a family member or your partner.
- Don’t share towels or bathrobes. Instead, insist on every family member using personal items and comply scrupulously with it.
- Don’t walk around barefoot as this will almost certainly multiply your chances of contracting the infection. Instead, try putting on breathable socks or slippers so as to form a barrier between your toes and the potentially contaminated surfaces.
- On a similar note, make an effort to frequently sterilize infected surfaces (mainly, showers or bathroom and bedroom floors) so as to keep your feet clean and stop nail fungus from spreading.
- Don’t share foot care tools. As the fungus is extremely resilient, it is imperative that you refrain from using each other’s clippers and relevant tools or, at least, sterilize them meticulously before using them after another family member has.
- Disinfect your shoes with over-the-counter anti-fungal products (sprays, powders etc). That obviously applies to all family members, and not just the ones already developing the disease, being a very effective way of preventing healthy people withing a household from picking up the fungus.
- Family members suffering from ailments responsible for weakening the immune system (diabetes, HIV, cancer) or individuals dealing with nail injuries are more prone to being afflicted with toenail fungus. Subsequently, they should be the ones sticking more religiously to those preventive steps.
- Needless to say, adhering to the “ordinary” fungus-preventing instructions is a must, if you truly want to eliminate the chances of contracting the infection in the first place. Therefore, make sure you avoid walking barefoot in public places, dry your shoes thoroughly after working out, clip your toenails straight across so the nail ends before your toetips etc.
Finally, and despite the aforementioned preemptive measures providing a buffer between the infected and the healthy ones within a family, it goes without saying that entirely eradicating the fungus is the safest way of staying fungus-free. Therefore, make sure you waste no time the moment you spot the first signs of infection: seek appropriate treatment and protect yourself, your partner and your family from having to endure this nasty fungal infection.