What is athlete’s foot?
- Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a contagious fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet and can spread to the toenails and sometimes the hand. It commonly occurs in people whose feet have become very sweaty while confined within tightfitting shoes. It often results in itching, burning, pain and scaling of the skin.
- The fungi that infect human feet live on the skin, specifically on skin proteins called keratin. These fungi thrive in dark, hot, warm and moist environments. Wearing tight, non-breathing footwear allows the fungi to flourish and cause athlete’s foot. The fungal organisms easily spread from one person to another in moist places where people walk barefoot, such as gym locker rooms and swimming pools.
- Itchy, dry and flaky skin
- Over the counter or prescribed topical antifungal medications
- Prescribed oral antifungal medications