Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), is a fungal infection of the skin. The fungi responsible are generally the same as those causing onychomycosis (nail fungus). Fungi frequently attack the feet since these pathogens thrive more easily in dark, hot, humid environments such as shoes. If you find that your feet are dry and cracked, athlete’s foot is often the culprit.
Typical athlete’s foot symptoms generally include itching, dryness, redness and flaking of the skin. It’s usually seen on the soles of the feet, but can also occur between the toes. In more advanced cases, inflammation, cracks and blisters can be present. Secondary bacterial infection is yet another consequence of athlete’s foot; as is contagion, with fungi spreading to other areas such as toenails and even to other people.
Athlete’s foot thrives in public places such as pools, gyms, showers and changing rooms. To reduce the spread of fungi, avoid walking barefoot and practice good foot hygiene. This includes washing your feet daily with soap and water followed by adequate drying – especially between the toes. If your feet sweat a lot, try to change your socks during the day.