What are the symptoms of athlete's foot?
Tinea pedis, or athlete’s foot, is a common contagious condition that affects all segments of the population, not just athletes. It is the most common fungal skin infection in the world. Fungi called dermatophytes multiply and can lead to infection when in a warm, moist environment.
Early signs of athlete’s foot are often a mild discomfort and itching between the toes. As it progresses, the itching and burning may become increasingly intense, and there is usually cracking, blistering, and peeling of the skin. If left untreated, it can spread to the soles, sides of feet, and other parts of your body.
How do you get athlete’s foot?
Athlete’s foot is highly contagious, and can be contracted from virtually anywhere. The fungus is very hardy, and can survive on almost any surface- dry or wet, hard or soft. You can get athlete’s foot by person-to-person contact, and transmission is often within a household. However, athlete’s foot is often transmitted in public areas like pools, showers, locker rooms, and saunas. The risk for developing athlete’s foot increases in warm, humid conditions. Wearing closed shoes (especially plastic-lined or vinyl), and perspiring or keeping your feet wet for a prolonged period can also increase your risk for athlete’s foot.