Nail polish and fungus

Can I wear nail polish with toenail fungus?

Wearing nail polish with toenail fungus is not encouraged because it can worsen the problem.Toenail polish prevents moisture in the nail bed from evaporating. When the nail is infected by fungus the nail becomes yellowish or blackish thus making it ugly looking. Somebody might want to wear nail polish with toenail fungus just to conceal the discolored nail due to the fungus which can encourage fungal growth to grow more.
Nail polish is acrylic, and it seals in the moisture promoting the fungi to live and propagate beneath the nails. Microorganisms like to live in dark, moist-warm environments and that is underneath the nails. Nail polish can make nails thicker and when nails thicken it becomes more challenging to treat the fungus because the treatment will not be absorbed properly.
When toenail fungus becomes a chronic condition, it is advised to get treatment. Ignoring this condition because it is not painful in some ways can be a problem especially for people with diabetes. If you have nail fungus the best thing to do is to get treatment and do a regular cleaning on your toes. Avoid wearing socks that traps in the moisture, a cotton sock is better. If your feet are always moist use foot powder and see podiatrist for better advice. It is good to file the nails flat and do not share your manicure and pedicure tools with other people. The microorganisms are easily transmitted from one person to another indirectly by sharing footwear. Moisture found in shoes and socks is a great breeding ground for the nail fungus or onychomycosis. If left untreated it could spread to other nails until all your nails are damaged or making it more difficult to treat.
Do not let the nail fungus control your social life. See your podiatrist right away for proper medication. Using antifungal nail treatments should help you with your nail problem but make sure that when you buy over the counter you ask the advice of pharmacists.

← Previous Post Next Post →

Can I Wear Nail Polish With Fungus On My Nails?

It’s a bum rap! You have fungus on your toe nails and all you want to do is cover it up! Nothing better than nail polish to do that, but you know enough about fungus to know that fungus thrives in moist dark places. Nail polish gives that fungus a wonderful place to grow and thrive! What’s a girl to do??
Well, for starters, it is so very important to look beyond the nail itself and look at your foot surroundings. Where do you walk? What do you wear?
We do not know exactly how you got your fungus, but we want to keep it from happening again. Keeping your surrounding as “fungus-free” as possible will help!

Let’s go over the key pointer to keeping fungus at bay:

  • Spray your shoes with an anti-fungal spray. It helps keep the fungus away!
  • Throw away your old grungy gardening shoes if they are not rubber or those old favorite canvass shoes you’ve had forever.
  • If you have sweaty feet, change your socks once during the day to keep the moisture down. The less moisture you have, the less than ideal environment a fungus has to grow.
  • Use an anti fungal powder on your feet if you tend to sweat a lot.
  • Spray “Scrubbing Bubbles” or “Lysol Tub and Tile” type stuff weekly on your shower tiles.
  • Wash your bath mats weekly. We don’t know what critters are thriving in them.
  • Shampoo your carpet if you haven’t done that in a while. We don’t know what critters are thriving in them either.
  • Give your shoes a breather by not wearing the same pair twice in a row.
  • Get sterile pedicures and stay away from the soaking tubs that have whirlpool effect. They can never get the tubing cleaned properly.
  • Bring your own polish and flip flops to the nail salon.

And yes, we are back full circle to the nail polish thing! It can matter what type of polish you use. Nail polish with Tea tree oil is becoming very popular for a reason. It has been found that tea tree oil is a natural fungal suppressant. What does this mean? It means you can have fungus and wear nail polish too!! Dr. Remedy nail polish with tea tree oil offers just what you have been looking for. I was so impressed with this product and got such good feedback on it, that Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas carry it at our Healthy Steps Shoe Store! Pick up a bottle today to keep your toes looking stylish and “fungus-free!”

Toenail fungus can be hard to deal with. Toenail fungus make our toenail hard, yellow, and brittle. Trimming an infected toenail is difficult and if not properly trimmed can make the fungus worst. If you nick your toenail or trim the nail too deeply in the quick; you just created a airway for the infection to spread beneath the nail. Just applying nail polish and covering up the toenail fungus will only make the fungus infection worst and the polish just locked in moisture for your fungus to spread.

Antifungal Nail Polish is The Answer!

No, you still can wear polish on your nails if you have a fungal nail treatment if you use a antifungal type polish only. Antifungal polishes are made to infuse the nail bed with antifungal properties. These antifungal properties include tea tree oil, lavender oil, oil, garlic, and other elements. Antifungal polishes will allow you to hide the discoloration, yellowing, black spots, while treating the fungus infection inside the nail bed.

How To Apply Antifungal Nail Polish

  1. Prepare Your Nails – Clip and file your nails. Be cautious when discarding the infected clippings. After preparing your nails, take a shower so you can wash away any skin debris. Dry your nails completely.
  2. Base Coat Application – Apply the antifungal base coat. Allow the base coat to dry, The drying process can take up to thirty minutes. NEVER apply an antifungal polish on top of a nonmedicated base coat.
  1. Antifungal Polish Application – After the base coat has dried, the antifungal top coat can be applied to the nails. Make sure and allow the antifungal top coat to completely dry. If not allowed to dry completely, the polish can streak which will made the antifungal top coat ineffective.

Pros and Cons of Wearing Nail Polish While You Have A Nail Fungus Infection

Nail Polish can cover up your nail fungus, covering up your thick, yellow, brittle toenails while giving your viewers the impression of a healthy toenail. However, even though, you have given the impression of healthy nails, using traditional kiarasky gel polish will do more harm than good. The striegent chemicals in these nail polishes will cause further damage to the nail fungus infection. If you are using fugal infections treatments in combination with using nail polish the polish will slow the penetration of the topical fungal infection treatment, thus reducing the cure efficiency. Also painting a unhealthy nail and then painting a healthy nail could further spread fungus infection to the healthy nail.


Using typical nail polishes will only make your nail fungus worst. There are special nail lacquers made specifically for nail fungus. Nail fungus lacquers improve the overall health of the nail but do not cure nail fungus. Anti-fungal tropical medications are available to cure nail fungus. Products such as EmonNail contains anti-fungal properties to cure nail fungus.

Can Nail Fungus Spread Through Nail Polish?

Of the thousands of makeup products that exist, nail polish has been a standard staple for decades. It is exciting to walk up to a wall of bottles in every color of the rainbow and know that your options are endless. Chinese royalty used to decorate their nails with gold and silver, and Egyptians used polish to signify social status.

While nail polish can turn a set of toenails into a display of beauty, a fungal problem can make nails brittle, crumbly and discolored. Nail fungus is a very common toenail problem, that can be picked up quite easily and be difficult to get rid of. Some women cover up the problem with polish while others may wonder, does nail fungus spread through nail polish?

Nail fungi can spread to your other toenails and to other people’s toenails in certain situations. Using non-sterilized tools at a pedicure salon can increase your risk, but nail polish alone is not likely to spread an infection. First of all, the chemicals that make up polish can damage fungi and possibly kill it. A bottle of nail polish is not an environment that is conducive to the growth of fungi. If a person with a fungal nail infection used the polish, it isn’t likely that the next person in line would pick up the fungus.

It is always a good idea to be better safe than sorry, so if you do get a pedicure ask that all the instruments used are clean and sterilized. For treatment for a toenail problem, contact Dr. Sanjay Patel at Family Foot Care & Surgery. To make an appointment, call our office in Hamden, CT at (203) 288-4055 or in Milford, CT at (203) 876-7736.

Can Toenail Fungus Spread Through Nail Polish?

Can toenail fungus spread through nail polish? This is a common question, since covering up the unsightly infection with some pink polish might initially seem like a good idea. However, it is important to know all the facts in order to effectively treat the infection and stop it from spreading.

Nail polish itself is a fairly harsh substance. It contains a chemical cocktail of ingredients that are toxic to organic material. Some examples include toluene, formaldehyde, butyl acetate and isopropyl alcohol. Chances are that the polish you use contains at least a few of these ingredients. These chemicals make it nearly impossible for the fungus to contaminate the polish and spread within the container.

Why You Should Still Avoid Polish With Your Infection

Even though the polish will not spread the infection, it can still worsen your condition. Water can become trapped in the nail, which will give bacteria a place to thrive. While the polish itself will not spread the infection, your fingers and other beauty tools used to shape and trim the nails can. Trimming and shaping the nails can also lead to further damage, giving the infection an easy way to spread. Tiny cuts and nicks on your toes are all it takes. Additionally, hiding the infection with colored polish will not make it go away. You still need treatment, and the condition will worsen the longer you ignore it.

Can Toenail Fungus Spread Through Shared Nail Polish

You might be wondering if sharing nail polish can spread the infection. The polish itself probably does not carry the infection. Again, this is because of the harsh chemicals it contains. However, the cap, beauty tools, and fingers can spread it. Therefore, if you are infected with the fungus, it is best to keep your polish and other nail care tools to yourself. Sharing them with friends may result in them picking up the infection. This is the reason why nail salons forbid pedicures on clients with infected nails.

The Best Toenail Fungus Treatment

Your lifestyle does not have to change forever because of toenail fungus. Laser treatment for toenail fungus is one of the most effective ways to treat the condition. High energy pulses from the laser penetrate the nail and zap the fungus. This kills the infection instantly. As your nail grows, it will be clear of the infection.Do not try hiding your toenail fungus with polish. Have the condition treated so you can move on with your life and once again enjoy pretty and clear toenails.

Is nail fungus contagious?

Nail fungus, or onychomychosis, is caused by tiny, living microorganisms that live on dead skin tissue, and the answer to the question “Is nail fungus contagious?” is yes. The fungi can be transmitted from one person to another either through direct or indirect contact, and it spreads just as quickly as the flu. It can also spread from one of your own toenails to another, or from a toenail to a fingernail. The risk of contracting nail fungus is especially high in warm, moist areas where the fungi thrive, for example in swimming pools, public showers and locker rooms. Another way to contract nail fungus is by sharing personal items like towels, shoes or nail clippers with an infected person. It can also spread at nail salons through nail polish or instruments that have not been properly sterilized.

If you have symptoms of a nail fungal infection – for example discolored, brittle, distorted or thickened nails – it is quite possible that you got the infection from somebody else, and it is important that you maintain proper hygiene to keep it from spreading to others. Take these steps to manage the infection and reduce the risk of transmitting it to others:

  • Avoid walking barefoot around the house or in public places
  • Do not share your shoes with other people
  • Change shoes and socks frequently
  • Dry feet thoroughly after showering
  • Do not wear nail polish
  • Allow your feet to air dry as much as possible
  • Apply a topical fungal nail treatment, such as Naloc, directly on the infected nails

Onychomychosis can infect people of all ages and ethnicities, but athletes, swimmers, the elderly and people with certain diseases, such as diabetes and psoriasis, are more likely to contract it than a healthy person. It is not completely clear why some people are more susceptible to fungal nail infections than others, but the risk of infection is likely linked to a weakened immune system.


Toenail Fungus & Yellow Toenails – Treatment & Antifungal Information

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
In addition to the yellowing nail, symptoms may include nail thickening; brittle, crumbly or ragged edges; shape distortion; and surface dullness. If the infection causes a condition called onycholysis, the nail may separate from the nail bed, causing toe pain and a foul odor.
Causes of Toenail Fungus
Yeasts, molds or microscopic organisms called dermatophytes cause nail fungal infections. They frequent warm, moist areas like swimming pool decks and can invade through tiny cuts or cracks in the skin.
Fungi don’t need sunlight to survive, which makes the darkness of your warm, moist socks and shoes a perfect breeding ground for fungi. Your toes don’t get as much blood flow as your fingers, so infections thrive before the body’s immune system can detect a threat.
Who Gets Toenail Fungus?
Yellow toenails and toenail fungus can affect many types of people. Those who are often at a higher risk for developing a toenail fungus include older individuals who have slower-growing nails and decreased blood flow; men with a family history of nail fungus; athletes or anyone prone to athlete’s foot; and people with diabetes. (IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have diabetes and think you may have toenail fungus, contact your doctor immediately.)
People who have sweaty feet, work in a humid environment, wear non-breathable socks and/or shoes, walk barefoot in wet communal areas like locker rooms or who live with someone with a foot fungus also have a higher risk of developing a toenail fungus.
Treating Toenail Fungus
If you notice that you have a yellow toenail fungus developing, treat the condition as soon as possible. Toenail fungus becomes more difficult to treat as it moves toward the cuticle. We recommend seeing a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
See a doctor immediately if you are diabetic and think you may have a toenail fungal infection, if you have a condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet and you can’t trim your nails or if over-the-counter products and lifestyle changes haven’t helped.
To treat a fungal infection, wash your feet every day with an antifungal foot wash. If you frequent an area with high risk factors for fungal infection, you can use this same type of foot wash as a preventative effort.
Don’t use a commercial nail polish if you have an infection. Traditional polishes make a watertight seal that can trap the fungus in and keep medication out. Instead, use specialty nail polish, such as a nail fungus nail polish from Healthy Feet Store.
Preventing Toenail Fungus and Yellow Toenails
To prevent the condition, trim your toenails straight across, and don’t let the nail extend beyond the tip of the toe.
Never go barefoot when showering in a public facility such as a gym or spa. Always wear shower shoes or spa slippers. Whether in public or in your home, dry your feet thoroughly after a shower or bath.
Have sweaty feet? Keep the inside of your shoes dry with antibacterial foot powder or by wearing moisture-wicking socks. This will also reduce the risk of developing a toenail fungus.
Healthy Feet Store Antifungal Toenail Treatment Recommendations
At Healthy Feet Store, we offer a variety of doctor-recommended treatments for yellow toenail fungus. This includes easy-to-use products like tea tree oil wash and antifungal nail care gels and creams. For the home pedicure enthusiast, we also offer antifungal nail polish. Consult your doctor about all preventative and restorative therapies to ensure that your yellow toenail fungus does not return.
Have other toenail problems? Read our foot-care article, The Most Common Toenail Problems and How to Treat Them.
Treating Toenail Fungus – Tips and Recommendations:
Toenail fungus should be treated as early as possible. It becomes more difficult to get rid of the farther it has spread towards the cuticle. People suffering from toenail fungus, particularly in its more advanced stages, are strongly advised to get a diagnosis from a podiatrist.
There are a variety of different types of toenail fungus. One common toenail fungus is the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot. Many toenail fungi will respond to a combination of good foot hygiene habits and non-prescription antifungal products; however, there are some types of foot fungus that will only respond to prescription oral treatment.
To treat toenail fungus and yellow toenails you should:

  • See a podiatrist immediately if you have diabetic feet or weakened foot circulation! People with these conditions are at the highest risk of toenail fungus complications.
  • Wash your feet daily with an anti-fungal foot wash, preferably one that contains tea tree oil. If you have had toenail fungus in the past or work in a moist, humid environment where you are at a higher risk of developing toenail fungus this is also a good preventive measure.
  • Don’t use a commercial nail polish when you are suffering from nail fungus. Commercial nail polishes will provide a protective, watertight layer over the nail trapping moisture in, keeping topical medications out, and maintaining a perfect environment for nail fungus to grow and fester. If you would like to wear nail polish while treating a fungal infection wear an antifungal nail polish such as Dr. Remedy Nail Polish with tea tree oil or Clearstat Antimicrobial Nail Polish.
  • Use an extra strength antifungal cream such as Tineacide or Mycocide to kill the fungus before it does further damage to your nail enamel. (Although both antifungal treatments are effective, Tineacide tends to be the antifungal product Dr. Hurless’ patients most frequently prefer.)
  • Once the fungus has been eliminated your nails will probably remain yellow until the healthy enamel replaces what has been damaged. Medical strength nail gels and polishes are available to aid the nail in its rebuilding process and help prevent toenail fungus from recurring.
  • Toenail fungus is very hardy and may recur if it is not killed completely. Be sure to use all toenail fungus products for the full duration directed on the packaged instructions even if nail fungus symptoms improve.

To prevent toenail fungus and yellow toenails you should:

  • Trim your toenails straight across so that the nail does not extend beyond the tip of the toe. The tip of the nail is the most vulnerable to infection.
  • Dry your feet thoroughly after you get out of the shower or bath.
  • Never go barefoot when showering in a public use facility such as a gym or spa. Always where shower shoes or spa slippers.
  • Sweaty feet are at an increased risk of contracting toenail fungus. Keep the inside of your shoes dry and free of bacteria by wearing moisture wicking socks and sprinkling your feet and the inside of your shoes with antibacterial foot powder.
  • When getting a professional pedicure it is best to bring your own nail tools to minimize the risk of infection. Use only licensed and accredited nail salons and ask questions about the salon’s sterilization practices before making your appointment.

Have other toenail problems? Read our foot care article: The Most Common Toenail Problems and How to Treat Them.

Does nail polish cause toenail fungus?

Q: Does nail polish cause toenail fungus?
A: Nail polish in and of itself does not cause toenail fungus. That’s not to say that it doesn’t contribute to the situation. Fungus is an opportunist that infects the toenails when they are damaged. Nail polish can cause damage to the toenails.

Most nail polishes contain damaging chemicals, such as formaldehyde and toluene. Nail polish remover contains acetone. All of these damage the toenails and cause the white streaking that many women experience when removing their polish. This damage weakens the toenails and make them more susceptible to developing a fungus infection.

There are alternatives to harmful nail polish. As a podiatrist, I realize that it is impractical to tell women to not wear nail polish. We carry Dr.’s Remedy Enriched Nail Polish which does not contain the harmful chemicals that regular nail polish tends to have; instead it is formulated with vitamins and an all natural antifungal agent to nourish the nails. Everyone who has purchased our product is satisfied with the healthier appearance of their nails. You can visit our Concord or Harrisburg offices to pick up your favorite color or call our offices for more detail at 704-786-4482.

Is Never Removing Nail Polish Unhealthy for Toenails?

There’s an ongoing dispute surrounding nail polish and the effects it could have when worn too long, especially on toenails. One of the most common beliefs is that toenails need to breathe in order to stay healthy. The fact of the matter is that different people will experience different results, but there are some basic guidelines that will help you know what’s best for your toes.

The Facts

  • First and foremost, nails are technically dead, which means they don’t breathe. Rumor has it that nails turn yellow when wearing nail polish for too long because they can’t breathe. Even though the nails can be stained, it’s more from the polish, not due to “breathing” issues.
  • Secondly, nail polish does not cause fungus. Toenail fungus is caused by heat and moisture being trapped against the feet for prolonged periods of time or direct contact with the fungus. However, wearing nail polish when you do have toenail fungus is not healthy.
  • Thirdly, nail polish can damage toenails and make them brittle when it’s applied without a base coat. Some of the chemicals in nail polish tend to dry out nails, which shouldn’t be a problem if you use a high-quality base layer before applying polish.

Things to Consider

  • Even though nails don’t breathe, they soak up moisture. Too much exposure to moisture and household chemicals can lead to stained and unhealthy nails, so always make sure they are dry before applying nail polish.
  • A base layer is very important because, without it, nail polish can be soaked up into the nail. This is why nails turn yellow or blue in some cases. When a base layer is applied then nail polish won’t have this effect.

Ultimately there is no evidence to prove that permanent use of nail polish on toenails is unhealthy, but not everyone will have the same experience. For this reason, most experts agree that there should be periods when your nails should be without nail polish, even if only for a few days. If anything it will help you to keep tabs on the condition of your nails and better able to see if there is a problem forming from some other cause.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *