What Is Athletes Foot?

Athlete's foot, or tinea pedis, is a common and uncomfortable fungal infection of the feet that causes itching, scaling, and redness of the skin on the soles of the feet and between the toes. Dermatophytes cause it; microscopic fungi that grow in warm, moist areas of the body — such as under your nails and between your toes — and cause infections.

Athlete's foot is the most common foot infection among adults, but it can also appear in children. This highly contagious fungal disease can be transmitted by direct contact with someone who has it and by sharing their clothes, shoes, linens, mats, or rugs. It's best not to walk barefoot in these areas, so keep your feet clean by wearing flip-flops or sandals when you're walking around your home.

Your podiatrist should be able to tell if you have athlete's foot just by looking at your foot. But they might want to take a sample of the fungi from your skin for testing. They can do this with a cotton swab. Your podiatrist may also give you an antifungal cream or lotion that you should generally use for 1 to 3 months to really get rid of your foot problems.

What Is Athlete's Foot?

Athlete's foot is a skin infection that can affect the feet, heel and toes — or other body areas. It's caused by a type of fungus that typically causes infections in warm, moist places like locker rooms, shower floors, and swimming pools. Nobody wants to get athlete's foot — which is spread through contact with floors, surfaces, shoes and socks that an infected person has worn — but there are ways to prevent it.


The most effective ways to prevent athlete's foot include:

  • Wash and dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes and under the nail beds.
  • Keep your feet dry in public baths and showers.
  • Always wear socks & shoes in public areas.
  • Change socks at least once daily if you notice a lot of sweating. We recommend moisture wicking socks, they help to prevent sweaty feet.


Athlete's foot is a common skin affliction that can affect all ages, including children. The occurrence of athlete's foot is not limited to athletes. This fungus infection can occur when normal foot perspiration and warmth are present. This fungal infection will have a look of small red areas with white edges between the toes. Infections of this nature typically start as itching and burning on the soles of the feet, between the toes, or on the sides of the toe webs. Left untreated, athlete's foot may spread to other parts of the feet and body.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you think you have athletes' feet, the first step to eradicating it is scheduling an appointment with a podiatrist. During your appointment, he or she will take skin samples and send them to a laboratory for testing. Then your podiatrist will prescribe oral and topical antifungal medications that are most effective against your type of fungus.

Podiatrists diagnose, treat and prevent athlete's foot. They also offer treatment options for toenail fungus, nail abnormalities, and other foot-related conditions. Contact us today to book an appointment.


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