Athlete’s foot is the common name of tinea pedis, a foot infection caused by a fungus called dermatophytes.
Because this fungus prefers warm, humid areas it often take up residence between the toes, and sometimes spreads to other parts of the foot. An affected foot has peeling, cracking skin, and itchy, painful red spots.
Dermatophytes are commonly found on damp floors in changing rooms, showers, and public pools. They are highly contagious. To prevent infection, wear sandals; do not walk barefoot in places that may harbor dermatophytes. Keeping your feet dry whenever possible also prevents infection and promotes healing. Once tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) has set in, you should avoid scratching to keep the infection from spreading to other body parts like the fingers and groin. There are a host of prescription and over-the-counter remedies available to treat athlete’s foot. Ask your health professional to find out more!