5 Questions to Ask If You Found Out You Have Toenail Fungus

Posted by Dr. Jeffrey L. Adler

Dec 11, 2014 9:00:00 AM

If you’ve recently found out that you have toenail fungus, you might be wondering what that means exactly. Do you have all kinds of different thoughts going through your head like, “How did I get it? Is it contagious? Can it spread to other parts of my body? Can I get rid of it?” These are all great questions that we can answer for you. All you have to do is keep reading.


  1. How did I get toenail fungus?

The most common cause of toenail fungus is not taking the proper precautions when walking barefoot. The fungus is easily contracted in public places like gyms, locker rooms, public swimming pools or by unclean tools used when getting pedicures. Simply wearing flip flops or sandals instead of going barefoot will help, and checking to make sure tools in salons are sanitized.

There is evidence that toenail fungus is hereditary, so if someone in your family has it there’s a good chance you could be more susceptible to getting it.

If you have a nail bed injury you’re also more inclined to get a fungal infection because the fungal pathogens have an easier way to get underneath the surface of your nail. These tiny organisms thrive on keratin, the protein substance in your nail, and will take hold to make a home there.

  1. Is toenail fungus contagious?

Yes! Toenail fungus can be easily spread if proper precautions aren’t taken. It always thrives in warm, humid, damp places – like socks and winter boots or public places like those mentioned above. So make sure you don’t wear other people’s socks, do change your own socks often, and don’t go barefoot in public places. Other precautions include washing your feet daily, keeping your feet dry, clipping your nails straight across, wearing shoes that fit properly,  letting your feet breathe, and always making sure you’re using clean nail clippers and files.

  1. Can toenail fungus spread to other parts of my body?

In extreme cases it is possible for toenail fungus to spread to other areas of your body. Essentially, this is because you have an organism living in your nail that decides to migrate to other areas like the hands and the back of the legs. This is especially true for older adults and people taking medications that weaken the immune system. Most likely though, it won’t go beyond your foot. That being said, you shouldn’t leave the fungus untreated if it’s progressed to the cuticle and caused your toenails to become thick, discolored, inflamed, and separating from the nail bed.

  1. Can I get rid of toenail fungus?

In a word – YES! Toenail fungus is treatable, but not effectively with over-the-counter topical treatments such as creams, oils or lacquers, or oral pills. These only offer a temporary fix and often take years to work at all. Home remedies don’t do the job either. The only procedure that will get rid of your toenail fungus completely is laser treatment.

Toenail fungus laser treatment works by shining a laser light beam onto the nail that breaks through the surface of the nail and vaporizes the fungal pathogens inside causing the toenail fungus. Once the fungus is eliminated, it can no longer grow. The outpatient procedure is fast, effective, safe, FDA approved, and doesn’t hurt.

  1. Where can I get toenail fungus laser treatment?

If you’re in the New York area, Adler Footcare offers toenail fungus laser treatment using the latest technology. It even did a recent study that shows the procedure is 90% effective. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation, contact a New York podiatrist at Adler Footcare. We believe feet shouldn’t hurt and neither should their treatment.

Learn more about toenail fungus laser treatment at Adler Footcare by downloading the free e-book below.

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Topics: foot problems, toenail fungus