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What Is the Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)?

Athlete's foot is a skin disease caused by a fungus, usually occurring between the toes. The fungus most commonly attacks the feet because shoes create a warm, dark, and humid environment which encourages fungus growth. The warmth and dampness of areas around swimming pools, showers, and locker rooms are also breeding grounds for fungi. Because the infection was common among athletes who used these facilities frequently, the term "athlete's foot" became popular.

Not all fungus conditions are athlete's foot. Other conditions, such as disturbances of the sweat mechanism, reaction to dyes or adhesives in shoes, eczema, and psoriasis, may mimic athlete's foot.

The signs of athlete's foot, singly or combined, are dry skin, itching, scaling, inflammation, and blisters. Blisters often lead to cracking of the skin. When blisters break, small raw areas of tissue are exposed, causing pain and swelling. Itching and burning may increase as the infection spreads.

Athlete's foot may spread to the soles of the feet and to the toenails. It can be spread to other parts of the body, notably the groin and underarms, by those who scratch the infection and then touch themselves elsewhere. The organisms causing athlete's foot may persist for long periods. Consequently, the infection may be spread by contaminated bed sheets or clothing to other parts of the body.

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Our United States Offices

Atlantic Foot & Ankle Specialists
114 Canal St. Suite 703
Pooler, GA 31322
Phone: 912-988-3323
Fax: 912-988-3612

Our United States Doctors

  • Dr. Todd Newsom

    Newsom Optimized

    Dr. Newsom is a native of Valparaiso, Indiana. He graduated from Barry University, School of Podiatric Medicine in Miami, FL with honors.

    Read more ...  
  • Dr. Melissa Robitaille

    Robitaille Optimized 2016

    Dr. Robitaille is a native of Montreal, Canada. She graduated from Barry University, School of Podiatric Medicine in Miami, FL with honors.

    Read more ...  

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