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Anyone who's ever gotten a nail infection knows how difficult they are to get rid of, but not everyone realizes how easily they are to spread.
If you have a nail infection, you can easily spread it to any of your other nails, or to another person simply through touch. Don’t panic though as there are a few ways to reduce the chance spreading the nail infection.
Keep reading for 8 ways to reduce the chances of spreading your nail fungus.
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Ways to Stop the Spread of Nail Fungus
Wear proper shoes: You’ve probably heard this a dozen times, but your footwear plays a big impact in your toenail fungus recovery or prevention. In the summer, wear open toe shoes that allow air circulation; in the winter wear waterproof shoes to block out moisture and change your socks frequently. If you are walking around in a public place where being barefoot is acceptable, such as a pool, beach, or public shower, for example, wear flip flops instead of going barefoot. This will keep you from spreading the infection, or picking one up from someone else.
Keep nails short and clean: Cut your nails and file down any thickened infected nails. This will reduce the chance of the infection spreading or getting worse. Make sure that you regularly wash your hands and feet with soap and warm water to help get rid of the bacteria. Make sure that you are properly drying your hands and feet to reduce moisture, something nail fungus loves.
Avoid touching other nails: It’s very easy to spread the fungus once you’ve got it. Be careful not to touch any of your other nails with the infected one. Also, make sure that you don’t touch other people’s nails while yours is infected. This is most often done through passing objects.
Throw out recently used nail polish: If you’ve recently used nail polish prior and then realized you’ve contracted a nail infection, throw out the nail polish. It might be contaminated, so it's better to be safe than sorry when you get infected again. Also, if you regularly go to nail salons, make sure that they follow proper hygienic regulations.
Wear proper gloves when working: This will help you avoid injuring your nails, which can cause the infection to become worse. Wearing gloves will also stop you from spreading the infection. For dry work, wear heavy cotton gloves, and for wet work wear vinyl gloves.
Don’t share hygiene tools: Sharing is not always caring. Don’t share your nail clippers, scissors, towels, or other hygienic tools. These items pick up nail fungus easily and spread it easily. If you’ve recently gotten a nail infection, either sterilize your tools or replace them with new ones. You can sterilize them by placing them in a bowl of HOT water and soap, and then wipe down with rubbing alcohol.
Throw out old footwear: If your shoes look like they’ve seen better days, as in they are dirty and rugged looking or have a smell that refuses to go away, throw them out. Footwear can become contaminated with fungal spores over time, which can lead to a toenail infection. This is especially important with closed-toe shoes that lock in a lot of moisture, such as your gym shoes.
LLLT: If you are prone to nail infections, or want to decrease the chances of getting one, investing in an LLLT device might be a good option for you. Devices like the Cure-Ex laser are available for at-home use, are completely safe, plus they have been proven to cure nail infections and strengthen nails over a period of time (usually after 4 weeks of daily use). The Cure-Ex has a blue light that kills surface bacteria, making it safe to transfer from nail to nail.