Athletes’ Foot

Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a common fungal infection. It usually appears during warm weather. This infection spreads from person to person in moist or communal areas where people walk barefoot, like showers or bathrooms.

Between 10% to 20% of the world population is infected with a dermatophyte. This is a fungus that affects the skin and skin derivatives. Within their lifetime, up to 70% of adults will have tinea pedis. It's the most common of all dermatophytic infections.

The fungi that cause this infection are either Trichophyton or Epidermopyton. The most common organisms are Trichophyton rubrum or Trichophyton interdigitale and the least common is Epidermophyton floccosum. These fungi most commonly grow in the warm, moist areas between the toes.

The fungus can produce mild scaling with or without redness and itching. A small area or the entire sole of the foot may have scaling. Sometimes the toenails are involved. Painful cracking or fissuring can occur in severe cases of athlete's foot .

People with inadequate blood flow to the feet may develop bacterial infections, because of the cracking of the skin.


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