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Can You Get Nail Fungus Through Nail Polish?

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Let’s face it, no one wants to get a nail fungal infection. The best way to avoid this is to prevent it altogether. But can nail fungus spread through nail polish? Below I’ll discuss whether nail polish can potentially lead to nail funguses and the best ways to avoid and treat fungal growth.

Can Nail Fungus Spread through Nail Polish?

Can nail fungus spread through nail polish

It is not likely that a nail fungus will spread from nail polish. This is because nail polish is not the ideal environment for nail fungus to grow. Funguses thrive in dark and moist environments(Read More About Fungal Spread Here). However, nail polishes contain alcohol and chemicals which are not the conditions in which nail fungus thrives. So the chances of nail fungus spreading through nail polish are very low.

Note: It is a good idea to not share nail polish bottles with anyone who is experiencing fungal toenails. Sharing any products or nail tools with anyone who has a fungal infection will put you at a higher risk of getting an infection.

3 Ways You Can Get Nail Funguses

Sharing Emery Board

Emery boards are made of cardboard and are porous. This means they can trap bacteria and different types of fungi in them especially when they get wet from pedicures. That is why it is important that you do not share emery boards with anyone. It is also important that the nail salon you visit uses a new nail file for each client. 

Uncleaned Tools

Using unclean nail tools can certainly lead to infections. It is a good idea that you scrub down your at-home nail care tools with an alcohol pad before using them. Especially your cuticle cutters and pushers that have debris on them. If you go to a nail salon, it is important that your nail technician uses clean tools for every client and sanitizes her tools in an autoclave.

Dip Powder

Dip powder is a widely popular nail treatment that you see all over TikTok and Instagram. You generally see videos of people dipping their nails directly in the pot to get the iconic dip powder look. Using the same pot for at home manicures might be okay, but is a big no no for salon manicures. If your nail tech is uses the same dip pot for every client, this can put you at a big risk of getting an infection. 

If one client has an infected nail and puts it into the dip powder pot, it can spread to all the other clients. It is important that your nail tech use a clean brush and apply the dip powder directly to your nail bed.

What Should You do If You Have Nail Funguses

Talk to Your Healthcare Provider

The 1st thing you want to do is talk to your health care provider and get an evaluation. After your evaluation, your provider will generally prescribe you different treatment options: topical treatment, oral medication, and topical medication.

What are Some Antifungal Treatments 

There are many different ways to treat your nail fungus at home from home remedies to topical treatment. Below I summarized some antifungal nail treatment options that are available to you.

Antifungal pills- can be prescribed over the counter or prescribed by your health care provider.

Antifungal Creams/Serums- Antifungal creams and serums can be prescribed or gotten through marketplaces such as Amazon. These are generally topical creams and serums that you put on your nails. This is a popular one that contains tea tree oil on Amazon(Get it Here)

Laser Treatment- Laser treatments use focused laser light to prevent the nail fungus to grow.

Note: There are many options on the marketplace, but it is best to talk to a healthcare professional to get the best treatment plan for you.

Best Practices to Avoid Fungal Nail Infection

Cleanse Tools Properly

When you use your nail tools debris and dead skin can get on it. It is important that you clean your nail tools before every use.

Avoid Sharing Nail Tools

One of the best ways to prevent getting nail fungus is to not share nail tools like emery boards and nail clippers for at home use. It’s also important to ensure that a nail salon you frequent cleanses their nail care tools and foot baths thoroughly.

Keep Feet Clean and Dry

Remember, fungus thrives in warm and dark environments. So it’s best to keep your feet clean and dry and to not wear tight shoes.


Are nail funguses nail greenies?

Nail fungus and nail greenies are not the same thing. Nail fungus is a fungal infection while nail greenies are bacterial. Nail greenies are also more common and can happen if you have a nail enhancement that lifts and moisture gets under it which allows bacteria to grow.

How can you tell the difference between nail fungus and nail greenies?

You would have to get a diagnosis and test from your medical provider.

How do you know if you have a nail fungal infection?

The symptoms that can happen if you have a nail fungus infection can be the following: thickening of the nail, nail discoloration, brittle nails etc. If there are any changes in your nails are sudden discomfort, it is best to bring it up with your health care provider.

Read More Here

Can fungal infections spread through glass nail files?

Unlike emery boards, glass nail files are not porous. That mean any bacteria or funguses that get on them stay on the surface of the glass nail file and don’t harbor inside. It’s still a good idea to not share nail tools with anyone. Also, nail salons generally don’t provide their services using glass nail files.

Can you Bring Your Own Nail Tools to the Salon?

You can do this, but it is important to make sure you are bringing quality tools. Dull clippers and cuticle cutters can actually make it much harder for your nail tech to work with which can cause other issues. If you have any questions related to sanitation feel free to ask your nail tech or go to a medical spa where health and safety or a big priority. If you are curious about the in and out of medical or diabetic pedicures feel free to check out my article here. Read Here


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