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Athlete's Foot

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What is athlete’s foot, and what causes it?

Athlete’s foot, also called tinea pedis, is a common foot fungus infection of the skin and nails. It usually appears on your feet because it thrives in dark, warm, and moist environments like the inside of a shoe. The fungus can spread from person to person in damp areas where people tend to walk around barefoot like swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms, as well as through shared towels or clothing. The name “athlete’s foot” comes from the fact that they often have sweaty feet and spend time in the types of places where the fungus can spread.

Most people with athlete’s foot experience symptoms like redness, itching, peeling, and scaly skin between their toes or on the soles of their feet. You may also experience stinging, burning, or blisters. If you have an advanced case and cracks develop in the skin, you may also be at risk of a bacterial infection.

Close-up of the underside of a foot with athlete’s foot

If athlete’s foot spreads to your toenails, they can become thickened, discoloured, and painful. It can also spread to other parts of your body, like the hands, nails, or groin.

Top view of two pairs of pair feet in sand