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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

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


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

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