Fungal spores are everywhere in human environment and most of us come in contact with fungi very often. A dirty closet with carpet floooring and poor ventilation in humid Florida would have more fungus than a clean hardwood floor closet in dry Arizona. However old heavy boots that may protect your toes from a frost bite in Alaska will have a lot more fungal activity than sandals you will wear in Florida during your vacation.

Manicure and pedicure salons are arguably number one source of nail fungal infections.

Dermatophytes can survive indefinitely as long as they have access to a little bit of skin or nail tissue in a warm and moist environment with poor or no lighting. If you have had any kind of fungal infection of the skin or nails you would typical find fungus in:

  • old leather shoes;
  • sneakers and other sport shoes;
  • old socks that are washed without bleach;
  • nail tools;
  • foot bath tubs;
  • towels used for wiping feet;
  • bathroom mats and surfaces;
  • carpet floors;
  • locker rooms (carpet floors, showers, ect.) in athletic clubs
  • swimming pools;
  • public showers and communal bathing;
  • mani-pedi salons, etc.

How Does a Toenail Fungus Infection Start?

Fungi are opportunistic microorganisms that can penetrate human skin or get under nails through a small and even microscopic injury in the cuticle, nail fold or skin under the edge of the nail plate. People with infected ingrown toenails are particularly vulnerable to fungal infections.

Who Is At Risk?

  • family history of fungal infections;
  • people older than 50 years;
  • frequent use of manicure and pedicure salons;
  • prolonged use of acrylic nais;
  • population in warm and humid climates;
  • sports and fitness activities, especially the one involving foot and toe injuries (e.g. soccer, rugby, football);
  • diabetes;
  • immunosuppression (e.g. HIV or drug induced);
  • occlusive footwear (e.g. women wearing tight shoes with high hills are susceptible to fungal infections in big toes and pinkies).
Debris will build up under your nails, as some of the infected nails may actually separate from the nail bed (onycholysis) creating an opening under the nail. Foul odor is common, as is itching and pain when walking or running.

Is Toenail Fungus Contagious?

If you have toenail fungus, but no fungal activity on the skin, and if you use good practices in foot hygiene, your fungus infection may stay encapsulated under nails, and the the risk of transmitting toenail fungus to other people around you is relatively small. Many people with toenail fungus, however, also have an adjacent fungus or yeast infection of the skin, such as athletes foot or tinea pedis. This infection is much more contagious than toenail fungus alone. If left untreated, skin infection may spread on through the shared use of carpets, mats, socks or shoes, and eventually get under nails and cause onychomycosis (tinea unguium).

The most contagious part of both toenail fungus and athlete's foot is the residual fungus that inhabits the shoes. This fungus will reinfect the skin and toenails even after your feet and toes are successfully treated. Therefore, in addition to treating fungus on the skin and under nails, it is critical to sanitize all shoes and keep them free of fungus.

The best and hassle-free way to keep fungi away from your shoes is the UV shoe sanitizer with the germicidal lamp.

Comprehensive Laser Fungus Treatment