Athlete's foot is caused by a fungus. A fungus thrives in a warm, dark, moist place. The most common place is inside shoes, locker rooms, showers, and swimming pool areas. Fungus from a floor, mat, rug, shoe, or towel can pass to bare feet with contact. Athlete's foot can also pass from contact with fungus on someone else's feet. Once the fungus is on skin it can grow.
Athlete's foot is more common in adults and males. Other things that raise the risk are:
- A warm, moist environment
- Walking barefoot in locker rooms or public places
- A wound on the foot
- Sweaty feet
- Wearing air-tight or poorly ventilated shoes or boots
- A weak immune system
- Close contact with someone who has a foot fungus
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services
All rights reserved.
a (Tinea Pedis)
American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org
Foot Health Facts—American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons https://www.foothealthfacts.org
Canadian Podiatric Medical Association http://www.podiatrycanada.org
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Athletes' foot. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: http://www.apma.org/files/ProductPDFs/Athlete%E2%80%99s%5FFoot.pdf. Accessed July 27, 2021.
Iwanaga T, Ushigami T, Anzawa K, Mochizuki T. Viability of pathogenic dermatophytes during a 4-week treatment with 1% topical luliconazole for tinea pedis. Med Mycol. 2020;58(3):401-403.
Tinea pedis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/tinea-pedis. Accessed July 27, 2021.