Fungal toenails are stubborn, and often an embarrassing condition that can leave your nails looking yellowish, dull, thick, brittle, and damaged. The fungi that cause the infection, known as dermatophytes, are a hardy bunch that can live not only under nails, but also on damp surfaces, too—so they can spread through indirect contact, not just direct. If you live in close quarters with someone with a fungal nail infection, then you’re more likely to develop fungal toenails or athlete’s foot (caused by the same fungi) yourself.
Still, you can take steps to minimize the chance that a fungal infection will spread from family member to family member.
- Don’t share socks and shoes with anyone else. The fungi can live inside a damp shoe or sock and re-infect a new wearer (or even spread from toe to toe on the same foot).
- Don’t re-use each other’s towels. They should be laundered after each use.
- Don’t go barefoot in the bathroom. Wear shower shoes or flip flops when you take a shower or use the facilities.
- Disinfect your shower floor after each use.
- Nail clippers, nail files, or other tools used on the feet should not be shared between multiple people, unless sanitized first.
- Have any cases of fungal toenails treated by Dr. Sanjay Patel in a timely fashion.
Although most instances of fungal toenails are not “dangerous” in the medical sense, getting them treated can alleviate a lot of embarrassment and provide peace of mind for all members of your family. Dr. Patel is proud to offer laser treatment for fungal nails, which uses finely tuned beams of light to eliminate pesky fungi without damaging the surrounding tissues—no medications and no pain required.
To set up an appointment with us in Milford or Hamden, CT, please call (203) 876-7736 today. You may also complete a contact form on this website to request an appointment online.