Athletes Foot or Tinea Pedis

Feet | Dermatology | Athletes Foot or Tinea Pedis (Disease)


Athletes foot also known as Tinea pedis is a fungal infection of the skin that causes symptoms like flaking, scaling and itch of affected areas.

The most common symptom is cracked, flaking, peeling skin between the toes or side of the foot. Other symptoms can include: red and itchy skin, burning or stinging pain and blisters that ooze or get crusty. If the fungus spreads to your nails, they can become discolored, thick, and even crumble. Blisters and cracked skin may also occur, leading to exposed raw tissue, pain, swelling, and inflammation. Secondary bacterial infection can accompany the fungal infection.

Causes and Risk factors

The cause is Trichophyton fungi. The common places where this fungi is transmitted are places where people walk barefoot, for example showers or bathhouses. When caused by a fungus, athletes foot may spread to the palm, groin, and body.

Risk of getting athletes foot increases in the next conditions: wearing closed shoes, especially if they are plastic-lined; keeping feet wet for prolonged periods of time; sweating a lot; developing a minor skin or nail injury.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnose Athletes foot can be done simply by looking at the skin. If tests are needed, they may include: skin culture, skin lesion biopsy, skin lesion KOH exam.

The treatment of athletes foot can be divided into two parts. The first, and most important part, is to make the infected area less suitable for the athletes foot fungus to grow. This means keeping the area clean and dry. The second part of treatment is the use of antifungal creams and washes. Many medications are available, including miconazole, econazole nitrate, clotrimazole, terbinafine sprays and creams. ...