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Athlete’s Foot


What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, commonly known Athlete’s foot, is a contagious fungal skin infection that afflicts the skin on soles of the feet and between the toes. Tinea pedis was given the name ‘athlete’s foot’ because dermatophytes – the type of fungi that cause the condition – are commonly found in places that athletes frequent, like public showers and locker rooms.
However, athlete’s foot affects athletes and non-athletes alike. Dermatophyte fungi thrive in dark moist areas and feed on keratin – a primary component of the epidermis (the outer layer of human skin). This means that our feet, which spend most of the day bound up in socks and shoes, present an ideal environment for the proliferation of a fungal infection. Consequently, one in 10 people have athlete’s foot.

What Are The Symptoms Of Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot typically presents as a translucent white moist skin between the toes on one or both feet.
Additional symptoms of athlete’s foot include:
  • A scaly and raw looking rash
  • Itching
  • Stinging
  • Burning
  • Foot pain
  • Dry skin on the soles of the feet
  • Peeling skin on the soles of the feet
  • Cracked skin on the heels

How Do I Treat Athlete’s Foot?

Over-the-counter topical antifungals are the most common remedy for athlete’s foot. Our Toronto foot clinic is open six days a week and offers a variety of antifungal products including:
  • Medicated creams
  • Ointments
  • Sprays
  • Powders
Topical antifungals must be applied to all visible fungus on the toes and feet for four weeks or at least one week after all symptoms have cleared. Athlete’s foot is notorious for recurring so it is extremely important to comply with the full course of treatment.
In resistant or recurrent cases of athlete’s foot, an oral antifungal pill or prescription antifungal ointment may be required.

To schedule best foot care treatment with our licensed Chiropodists (foot specialists), use the booking form below or call 416-769-FEET(3338).

Our Toronto foot clinic is open Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturdays 10am-4pm. You do not need a referral to become a patient at our foot clinic.

Risk Factors

What Causes Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot is caused by the overgrowth of fungus on the skin of the feet. Fungus thrives in the dark and moist environment provided by socks and shoes and can be transmitted directly and indirectly by:
  • Sharing mats, rugs, bed linens, clothes, or footwear with someone who has athlete’s foot or a related dermatophyte infection like jock itch or ringworm
  • Walking barefoot in contaminated areas such as public locker rooms, saunas, swimming pools, and communal showers
  • Having a fungal infection elsewhere on your body, i.e. jock itch
  • Sweaty feet: damp socks or tight fitting shoes, especially those made of non-breathable materials, exacerbate moisture levels and make feet more habitable for fungus

How Do I Prevent Athlete’s Foot?

Here are various foot care solutions you can do to prevent athlete’s foot or to reduce the progression of active infections:
  • Thoroughly dry between your toes after a bath or shower
  • Change socks regularly, even multiple times a day if your feet get very sweaty
  • Spend time barefoot to let your feet air out as much as possible when you’re home
  • Make sure your shoes dry after each use and alternate shoes throughout the week
  • Wear well-ventilated shoes and avoid shoes made of non-breathable synthetic materials such as vinyl or rubber
  • Always wear sandals or shoes when visiting public pools, showers, and lockers rooms
  • Be cautious when sharing shoes or towels
Articles about Athlete’s Foot by Feet First Clinic

Book an appointment for athlete’s foot

You do not need a referral to become a patient at our foot clinic. Schedule an appointment by using the Appointment Request form below or contact the clinic at 416-769-FEET(3338).