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Is Nail Fungus Contagious?



Nail fungus IS contagious.

What Is Nail Fungus?

Nail fungus is caused by dermatophytes, which settle and grow in the nail bed, feeding off the nail’s keratin. The fungus will readily spread throughout the nail bed and may also spread to adjacent nails. Less often, the fungus will spread to the surrounding skin especially in those with compromised immune systems.

How Does Nail Fungus Spread?

Nail fungus will readily spread from person to person. For example, sharing manicure tools with a person who has a fungal infection places you at risk for contracting the infection. Warm, moist areas such as locker rooms are prime breeding grounds for the spread of fungal infections.

How to Prevent the Spread of Nail Fungal Infections

In order to prevent the spread of nail fungal infections, it is important to be cautious in high risk situations such as locker rooms and nail salons. Here are a few tips.

Don’t walk barefoot in public shower rooms. Wear appropriate shower footwear. Dry your feet completely and sprinkle with an anti-fungal powder before putting on your street shoes.

Question your nail salon’s sterilization practices. Nail infections are readily spread through manicure tools. To avoid any uncertainty, bring your own tools.

Keep your hands and feet dry. Fungus thrives and spreads in warm, moist environments so be sure to keep your nails dry by wearing absorbent cotton socks with well-fitting shoes; wear rubber gloves when working in water for any length of time, and fully dry your feet and hands after they get wet.



“Foot and Ankle Institute, Barry University.” Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2012.

“Nail Fungus and Ingrown Toenails.” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2012. .

“Nail fungus: Prevention –” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2012.

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