Common Causes of Athlete’s Foot

Athlete's foot, or tinea pedis, is a prevalent fungal infection that primarily affects the feet. It is essential to understand the causes behind this bothersome condition for effective prevention and treatment. One leading cause is the fungus trichophyton, which thrives in warm, damp environments. Walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms, swimming pools, and communal showers, can expose you to this fungus. Sharing towels, shoes, or socks with an infected person can also facilitate its spread. Sweaty feet create an ideal environment for fungal growth, making individuals with hyperhidrosis more susceptible. Wearing tight, non-breathable shoes can exacerbate the issue, trapping moisture and promoting fungal development. Certain underlying medical conditions, including weakened immunity or diabetes, can also increase the risk of athlete's foot. Preventing athlete's foot involves maintaining good foot hygiene, keeping feet dry, and choosing breathable footwear. If you suspect you have athlete's foot, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and tailored treatment options that can effectively manage this condition. 

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with one of our podiatrists from InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.


The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot


Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


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