What is Athlete’s Foot?
You don’t have to be an athlete to catch it! Athlete’s foot, also called tinea pedis or alipunga, is a highly contagious fungal infection that affects the skin on your feet but can spread to your toenails and even hands.
It starts with an itchy foot and is easily caught through direct contact with an infected person, sharing bedlinens, touching towels or clothing infected with the fungus or walking barefoot in common areas, like gyms, swimming pools, communal showers and changing rooms. You are more likely to get foot diseases like this if the skin on your feet is damaged or if you have wet or sweaty feet. The fungi thrives in warm, moist conditions, so you should avoid wearing damp socks and shoes. That’s why it’s most commonly found in athletes!
Athlete’s foot often occurs between your toes, but it can also affect the soles and sides of your feet. Athlete’s foot usually starts on one or both of your feet, but you can unwittingly spread it to your hands or other areas of your body simply by scratching or picking at the infected parts of your feet.