Athlete's foot is an infection of the feet caused by fungus. The medical term is tinea pedis. Athlete's foot may last for a short or long time and may come back after treatment.
Tinea pedis; Fungal infection - feet; Tinea of the foot; Infection - fungal - feet; Ringworm - foot
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The body normally hosts a variety of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. Some of these are useful to the body. Others may, under certain conditions, multiply rapidly and cause infections. Athlete's foot occurs when a particular type of fungus grows and multiplies in your feet (especially between your toes) or, less commonly, your hands.
Of the fungal infections known as
- Wear closed shoes, especially if they are plastic-lined
- Keep your feet wet for prolonged periods of time
- Sweat a lot
- Develop a minor skin or nail injury
Athlete's foot is contagious, and can be passed through direct contact, or contact with items such as shoes, stockings, and shower or pool surfaces.