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Struggling with symptoms of athlete’s foot and ready to ditch the itch? Our board-certified dermatologists at Cumberland Skin are experts in diagnosing and treating athlete’s foot to help our patients find relief.
Learn more about athlete’s foot by reading our short guide and FAQs section below. We cover what causes athlete’s foot, its common symptoms, how it may look, whether or not it’s contagious, and more.
What is Athlete's Foot?
Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a common skin infection that’s caused by a special class of fungus called dermatophytes. Athlete’s foot is characterized by itchy, dry, and scaly skin on the feet, but it can spread to other parts of the body.
Athlete's Foot FAQ
Athlete’s foot is caused by a specific type of fungi called dermatophytes. This fungus thrives in damp, moist environments, which is why you’ll most often find athlete’s foot in gym locker rooms, showers, and pools. Furthermore, sweaty socks and moist shoes encourage the growth of athlete’s foot, which is why it thrives on the feet.
This infection typically causes red, itchy, and often flaky skin on the feet and toes. Additional symptoms may include burning, dry skin, red rashes, bad odor, sensitive feet, and toenails that may be thick, crumbly, or discolored.
Athlete’s foot most often looks like skin that is red and irritated with some flakiness and peeling, especially between the toes and on the soles of feet.
Yes, there are different types of athlete’s foot. These include:
- Toe Web Infection
- Moccasin Infection
- Vesicular Infection
- Ulcerative Infection
To determine the type of athlete’s foot you have, it’s best to visit a board-certified dermatologist for an experienced diagnosis.
Yes, athlete’s foot is highly contagious. It spreads between people through direct contact or contact with the same surface, such as shared gym shower floors.
If you are suspicious about yourself or someone else having athlete’s foot, It’s important not to scratch the area and touch other parts of your body, as this could cause an additional infection.
Yes, athlete’s foot can show up on other parts of the body. This fungal infection most often infects the feet first but may spread to other areas, such as the hands, as it is highly contagious.
For those with a minor case of athlete’s foot, OTC (over-the-counter) treatments are easily found and often treat it without a visit to a doctor. However, if you have a more stubborn case of athlete’s foot, a prescription-strength medication might be necessary.
At Cumberland Skin, our dermatologists use prescription-based antifungal treatment, either oral or topical, to eliminate the fungal infection for good.