This is a fungal infection on a foot or both feet. It is also known as tinea pedis.
Athlete's foot is an infection on a foot or both feet that is caused by a fungus. It often affects the skin between the toes, but it can also be found on other parts of the foot and between the fingers. The fungus that causes athlete's foot, tinea pedis, is one of the most common “tinea” infections. It usually occurs in warm, moist places on the body. The risk of catching athlete's foot increases if you wear shoes that are closed or lined with plastic, your feet sweat a lot or are wet for long periods, or you have an injury to the skin or nails on your feet.
Athlete's foot is contagious. You can catch it by direct contact or by touching a contaminated surface, such as a shoe, sock, shower floor, or pool. Preventive measures include keeping your feet dry, wearing sandals in public pools or showers, and wearing shoes that are well ventilated (especially if you are prone to the infection). The main symptoms of athlete's foot include:
If your toenails are affected, they can become thick and discolored.
Before you see a healthcare provider for your athlete's foot, there are some things you can try at home. These include:
Athlete's foot can come back, so you should continue your treatment for at least a week after your symptoms end. If your athlete's foot persists for more than 2 to 4 weeks, or keeps coming back, then you may need to see a healthcare provider for evaluation and further treatment.
While athlete's foot can go away with self-care, there may be times you need to see a healthcare provider for further treatment. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you've had them.
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