Athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin and the nails, usually found on the skin between the toes.
Fungi are plant organisms (tinea pedis) such as mold and mildew and grow best in conditions that are moist. Bacteria may thrive as a secondary infection, which worsens the symptoms of the disorder and makes it more difficult to cure. A fungal infection is one of the most difficult nail and foot conditions to treat.
It is common to catch athlete's foot from other people who have it by walking on floors that are moist or wet (e.g. at swimming pools and in shared bathroom facilities). Athlete's foot is also much more common in people who tend to have moist feet. Athlete's foot can also be spread by sharing other people's shoes or personal care items such as towels and wash cloths.
Athlete's foot and fungus may also spread to other parts of the body, notably the groin and underarms, by those who scratch there and then touch themselves elsewhere.
Bathe your feet at least once a day with soap and warm water. Dry thoroughly after bathing and keep your feet dry. Change socks frequently and buy socks that absorb moisture, such as cotton and wool. Expose your feet to the air for short periods of time throughout the day (do not walk barefoot, however). Wear sandals with open toes whenever possible.
There are a variety of over-the-counter products that can be used to treat the tinea pedis fungus, such as:
If these OTC products prove ineffective, prescription topical or oral antifungal drugs such as Sporonax or Lamisil can be prescribed by your Podiatrist.