Athlete's foot is a common infection caused by a fungus. It most often affects the space between the toes. Symptoms include itching, burning, and cracked, scaly skin between your toes.
You can get athlete's foot from damp surfaces, such as showers, swimming pools, and locker room floors. To prevent it:
- Keep your feet clean, dry, and cool
- Wear clean socks
- Don't walk barefoot in public areas
- Wear flip-flops in locker room showers
- Keep your toenails clean and clipped short
Treatments include over-the-counter antifungal creams for most cases and prescription medicines for more serious infections. These usually clear up the infection, but it can come back.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Fungus Infections: Preventing Recurrence (American Osteopathic College of Dermatology)
- How to Prevent Athlete's Foot (American Academy of Dermatology)
- Hygiene-Related Diseases: Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis) (VisualDX)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Tinea Pedis (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Tinea pedis-An embarrassing problem for health and beauty-A narrative review.
- Article: Skin microbiome of patients with interdigital tinea pedis: Corynebacterium striatum is...
- Article: Expression of epidermal antimicrobial peptides is increased in tinea pedis.
- Athlete's Foot -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Podiatric Medical Association
- Find a Dermatologist (American Academy of Dermatology)
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases