Athlete's foot

Athlete's foot overview and Definition

It is a common skin infection of the foot caused by the fungus tinea paedis a form of ringworm.It is alsoknown as interdigital mycosis.Plantar athelets foot is also known as the Moccasin foot.


It is common among the 15- 20% of the population.the disease is more common among the bare foot peoples.


When the fungus gets transmitted to the pets,it gets easily transmitted to the person who comes in contact with the pet .

One way to contract athlete's foot is to get a fungal infection somewhere else on the body first. The fungi causing athlete's foot may spread from other areas of the body to the feet, usually by touching or scratching the affected area, thereby getting the fungus on the fingers, and then touching or scratching the feet. While the fungus remains the same, the name of the condition changes based on where on the body the infection is located. For example, the infection is known as tinea corporis ("ringworm") when the torso or limbs are affected or tinea cruris (jock itch or dhobi itch) when the groin is affected. Clothes (or shoes), body heat, and sweat can keep the skin warm and moist, just the environment the fungus needs to thrive.

Routes of Transmission

Athlete’s foot is very contagious and it can be transmitted by both direct and indirect contact with fomite objects The disease is widely spread to others when the people come in contact with the contaminated area. floors).

The fungus resides in the dampened areas such as bathroom,locker room and other enclosed ares.Hence it is advisable to keep clean these arear to avoid infections.

Fungi rub off of fingers and bare feet, inspite they also spread to the dead cells that undergo rejuvenation. Athlete's foot fungi and infested skin particles and flakes may spread to socks, shoes, clothes, to other people, pets (via petting), bed sheets, bathtubs, showers, sinks, counters, towels, rugs, floors, and carpets.

Clinical signs & symptoms

Athlete's foot usually results in scaly red rash. The rash mainly presents in toes region. Itching is often the worst right after you take off your shoes and socks.

Blisters and formation of ulcers are also an symptom. The athelete foot mainly results in chronic dryness and scaling on the soles that extends up the side of the foot.

The infection can affect one or both feet and can spread to your hand — especially if you scratch or pick at the infected parts of your feet.

Dry skin on your toes and feet

Burning sensation between the toes.

Toe nails that are pulled away from the nail bed.

Numbness and tingling sensation to the skin.

Differential Diagnosis

A doctor may diagnose athlete’s foot by the symptoms. Or, a doctor may order a skin test if they aren’t sure a fungal infection is causing your symptoms.

A skin lesion potassium hydroxide exam is the most common test for athlete’s foot. A doctor scrapes off a small area of infected skin and places it in potassium hydroxide. The KOH destroys normal cells and leaves the fungal cells untouched so they are easy to see under a microscope.


The prognosis is good when the infectious  agent is get rid off.


These tips can help you avoid athlete's foot or ease the symptoms if infection occurs:

  • Keep your feet dry, especially between your toes. Go barefoot to let your feet air out as much as possible when you're home. Dry between your toes after a bath or shower.
  • Change socks regularly. If your feet get very sweaty, change your socks twice a day.
  • Wear light, well-ventilated shoes. Avoid shoes made of synthetic material, such as vinyl or rubber.
  • Alternate pairs of shoes. Don't wear the same pair every day so that you give your shoes time to dry after each use.
  • Protect your feet in public places. Wear waterproof sandals or shoes around public pools, showers and lockers rooms.
  • Treat your feet. Use powder, preferably antifungal, on your feet daily.
  • Don't share shoes. Sharing risks spreading a fungal infection.
  • Avoid sternous exercises which might results in over sweating.



Parijas textbook of microbiology

Anandhanarayana's textbook of microbiology