Fungal Infection on Feet

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a contagious fungal infection of the skin on the feet, but it can spread to the toenails, groin and hands. It’s called athlete’s foot because it is commonly spread in locations athletes are found, such as locker rooms, gyms and public showers.

You can get the fungus if you are in contact with someone who has the skin infection or touch a surface where the fungus is growing – commonly warm, moist areas. You increase your risk of getting athletes foot by:

  • Being barefoot in public locker rooms, showers and swimming pools
  • Having an untreated injury to skin or toenail
  • Having sweaty feet
  • Keeping your feet wet for long periods of time
  • Sharing socks, shoes or towels with another person with athlete’s foot

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

Athlete’s foot is usually diagnosed by recognizing the common symptoms, including:

  • Blisters on the soles of your feet or between your toes.
  • Dry, flaky skin on the side and sole of your feet.
  • Red rash between toes, on the bottom and sides of the feet.
  • Thick toenails or nails that pull away from the nail bed.

A skin tests may also may also diagnose the type of fungal infection on your feet. Fungal infections can be difficult to eliminate and may require long-term treatment with anti-fungal medications. Some infections can clear up quickly after treatment.

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Penn State Health includes the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, ranked as one of the best orthopaedic providers in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This honor was earned because our doctors consistently deliver exceptional patient care and outcomes through advanced treatments, translational research and provider training.Penn State Health includes the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, ranked as one of the best orthopaedic providers in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This honor was earned because our doctors consistently deliver exceptional patient care and outcomes through advanced treatments, translational research and provider training.

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Penn State Health podiatrists are board-certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and American Board of Medical Specialties in Podiatry.

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