Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)

Tinea pedis (also called “athlete’s foot”) is caused by a fungus that grows on skin, hair, or nails. It is very common and often starts between the toes.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms and signs of athlete’s foot include itchiness, redness, and sometimes blistering or cracking of the skin. It may spread to the skin on other parts of the foot.

How Did I Get It?

You can get a fungal infection various ways:

  • by walking on damp surfaces

  • through contact with another person who has one

  • ke public showers or locker room floor

  • through contact with an infected pet


Check with your health care provider if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot. Your provider may order lab work (such as skin scrapings or fungal cultures) to help in clarifying the diagnosis. Your provider will let you know whether it is necessary in your case.


Treatment is usually successful with topical antifungal creams. Occasional cases may require oral antifungal medicine as well. It often takes several weeks of treatment to control the fungus.


  • Take your shoes off when you are at home, so your feet can be exposed to air.

  • Change your socks daily.

  • Dry your feet and in between your toes carefully after you shower or bathe. This is especially important after using a locker room or public shower.

  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas. Wear flip-flops, sandals, or water shoes.

  • Throw away worn-out shoes and don’t borrow other people’s shoes.

  • Don’t share towels with others.

  • Check pets regularly for fungal infections

It is common for tinea pedis to recur. Some people are more susceptible to tinea pedis than others and they may require prolonged preventive care to control it.