Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a fungal infection that usually begins between the toes. It occurs most commonly in people whose feet have become very sweaty while confined within tight-fitting shoes.
Signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include a scaly rash that usually causes itching, stinging and burning. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be spread via contaminated floors, towels or clothing.
Athlete’s foot is closely related to other fungal infections such as ringworm and jock itch. It can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal medications, but the infection often recurs. Prescription medications also are available.
Tests and diagnosis
In some cases, your doctor may be able to diagnose athlete’s foot simply by looking at it. To help confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions, your doctor might:
- Take skin scrapings or samples from the infected area and view them under a microscope
- View your feet under black light from a Wood’s light
- Send a small sample of your skin to a lab to be tested