Toenail fungus is a highly contagious infection, easy to spread and difficult to treat. It thrives in warm, humid environments, such as pools, changing rooms, and even showers. It transfers to other surfaces upon contact, such as feet or things like towels and footwear. While swimming is a great way to stay cool, it can also increase the risk of getting a fungal nail infection.
Places, such as public swimming pools, are breeding grounds for disease-causing pathogens. Moist floors and protected corners, especially in changing rooms, encourage the formation of fungi and expose feet to them. However, some simple precautions can help you keep your nails clean and healthy. Studies show that swimming pools can transmit fungal or bacterial infections, as many people visit them. Foot fungus and bacterial infections are the microorganisms that constitute the most common type of contagious disease found around swimming pools.
Fungal filaments can also be found on the floors of changing rooms and public showers and in hot tubs. Toenail fungus is a widespread fungal infection affecting toenails. Less commonly, nail fungus can infect fingernails. Toenail fungus occurs when fungus gets between the toenail and the nail bed (the tissue just below the toenail). This usually occurs through a crack or cut in the toe.
However, in recent years it has become increasingly popular for gyms and pools to be “chlorine-free”, so check this detail before jumping into the pool. Swimming in a chlorine-free pool with toenail fungus is not recommended. Talk to your healthcare provider about the pros and cons of treating toenail fungus to determine what's best for you. Toenail fungus usually starts out as nothing more than a small white or yellow dot under the toenail. Toenail fungus can be notoriously difficult to completely eradicate, but there are steps you can take to make the treatment more successful.
A toenail fungus (onychomycosis) is much more likely to affect your nails if you have a weakened immune system. However, I received an email from a runner who had a toenail fungus attack that was severe enough to need laser treatment to remove the toenail fungus. Your healthcare provider will direct a high-tech laser beam and special lights toward your toenail to treat the fungus. Fungal spores that enter the toenail when they hit the nails on the inside of sneakers turn into a fungal infection on the toenails. However, toenail fungus is easily transmitted in the pool, so precautions must be taken (footwear should always be worn) to protect other swimmers. When there are active fungi in shoes, a small trauma or pressure on the toenail plates is enough to lift the nail.
The most effective treatment for toenail fungus will largely depend on your symptoms and situation. For this reason, it's helpful to plan ahead and maximize your chances of success when you've chosen laser treatment to eliminate toenail fungus.To avoid getting toenail fungus, it's important to take certain precautions when visiting public swimming pools or other places where there is a risk of exposure. Wear shower shoes or flip-flops when walking around public showers or locker rooms; avoid walking barefoot in these areas; wear socks with your shoes; keep your feet dry; and avoid sharing towels or other items with someone who has an active infection. If you do get toenail fungus, it's important to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor may prescribe antifungal medications or recommend laser treatment for severe cases.
With proper treatment and prevention measures, you can keep your feet healthy and free from infection.