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background What is Athlete’s foot?

What is athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot (tine pedis) is a fungal skin infection that affects the feet and is primarily caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes. Despite its name, anyone can catch athlete´s foot and it is most commonly found in warm, humid environments such as shoes, socks, change rooms, showers and around swimming pools.

What you should know about athlete’s foot:

  • Typical symptoms of athlete’s foot infection include redness, itching, cracking, scaling and burning.
  • Athlete’s foot is higly contagious and can be easily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact or through contact with contaminated surfaces.
  • Unfortunately, ignoring athlete´s foot or using non-medicated products such as a moisturizer will not get rid of the fungus. If left untreated, athlete´s foot is much more likely to return, and the fungus may even spread to other parts of the body.
  • Athlete´s foot is a common infection, and over 70% of the population will experience it during their lifetime.* However, men are more at risk of infection.

* Brooks KE et al. Clin Podiatr Med Surgery 1996.

The causes of athlete’s foot

For more information, see our FAQs.

Athlete’s foot 1

Athlete’s foot can also be transmitted indirectly via floors (eg: walking barefoot in public showers, gyms or changing rooms), towels, socks or shoes.

Athlete’s foot 2

Tight-fitting clothes and closed shoes that cause the skin to sweat provide the fungus with the warm, humid environment that it needs to thrive and spread.

Athlete’s foot 3

Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be transmitted directly through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

Test your knowledge of athlete’s foot

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