Pharmacy Corner
Fancy Feet: Caring for Plantar Warts, Athlete’s Foot and Fungal Toenail Infections Athlete’s Foot: The Basics
Athlete’s Foot 1

What is athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is the most common form of a fungal skin infection. There are 3 types of athlete’s foot that each look differently.1,2

What causes athlete’s foot?1,2

Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus that grows on the surface of your skin. This fungus grows best in warm, moist environments, such as the spaces between your toes. It also grows well if you wear tight shoes with little air circulation.

How did I get athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is easily spread through contact with a person who has it. Those who walk barefoot in locker rooms, public showers and swimming pool floors are at higher risk of getting athlete’s foot.

Teenagers and adult males most commonly get athlete’s foot, compared to children less than 12 years, who rarely get it. Other groups who are more likely to get athlete’s foot include1,2:

  • People who wear tight footwear with little air flow
  • Patients with diabetes, weakened immune systems, poor blood circulation
  • People with covered skin or skin trauma
  • People with poor hygiene
  • People who are obese

Why does it keep coming back?

Recurrences of athlete’s foot result from re-exposure to the fungus and a lack of proper treatment.

Do I need treatment?

Yes. It is easy for athlete’s foot to spread from your feet to other areas of your body, including your groin (“jock itch”), underarms and even your toenails.

In more severe cases, without treatment, athlete’s foot can cause the skin to break down and lead to a sore. This could result in a serious skin infection.2