Mohs Surgery & Dermatology Center

Fungal Skin Infection

Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)

Athlete’s foot, formalled called "tinea pedis", is a fungal infection of the skin and feet. It can be caused by a variety of different fungi.

Symptoms include red and itchy skin that may be cracked or flaking. Although tinea pedis can affect any portion of the foot, the infection most often affects the space between the toes where the skin often retains moisture.

Tinea pedis is spread through contact with infected skin scales or contact with fungi in damp areas (for example, showers, locker rooms, swimming pools). Tinea pedis can be a chronic infection that recurs frequently. Treatment may include topical antifungal medications (applied to the surface of the skin) or oral antifungal medications.

Athlete's Foot - Flaking and Scaling

Prevention of athlete’s foot

Appropriate hygiene techniques may help to prevent or control tinea pedis. The following hygiene techniques should be followed:

  • Nails should be clipped short and kept clean. Nails can house and spread the infection.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in locker rooms or public showers (wear sandals).
  • For control of athlete’s foot infection, persons with active tinea pedis infection should:
  • Keep feet clean, dry, and cool.
  • Avoid using swimming pools, public showers, or foot baths.
  • Wear sandals when possible or air shoes out by alternating them every 2-3 days.
  • Avoid wearing closed shoes and wearing socks made from fabric that doesn’t dry easily (for example, nylon).
  • Treat the infection with recommended antifungal medication.

Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention