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March 20, 2018  |  Login
Athletes Foot
by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.

Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a persistent and annoying fungal infection of the foot. It commonly occurs between the toes and the toenails but can also occur on other areas of the foot. The skin between the toes can appear red, cracked, and scaly. Sores and blisters can form on the soles of the feet and between the toes. The infected areas may burn or itch.

Moisture and warmth provide an environment for this fungus to thrive. Public or private showers, locker rooms, gym floors, and hotel bathrooms are common places for a child to contract this fungus. People with sweaty feet are more susceptible to ­ getting athlete's foot. Some have a natural resistance to athlete's foot, while others must be more careful with hygiene. Changing into clean socks reduces the risk of ­reinfection.

We find that in many cases of chronic athlete's foot, there is an underlying systemic problem with candidiasis. For more effective therapy in these cases, it is important to have a systemic treatment to eradicate the fungus. See the candidiasis section for detailed information.

Most cases of athlete's foot can be treated at home. However, complications can arise when a bacterial infection sets in, along with the existing fungal infection. If your athlete's foot does not improve with natural treatment or gets worse, see a doctor for evaluation.

Next: What are the Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot?

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