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Causes and Symptoms of Athlete’s Foot

Athlete's foot, caused by the fungus Trichophyton, flourishes in warm and damp environments. This fungus, usually harmless on the skin, can rapidly multiply when feet are confined in tight, non-breathable shoes, particularly plastic ones, or when socks remain damp. It spreads through direct skin contact, as well as indirectly via contaminated surfaces, like showers, pools, towels, and bedding. Symptoms of athlete's foot infections typically include itching, stinging, and burning sensations between the toes, in addition to dry, flaky, red, and scaly skin. In advanced cases, the skin may crack, ooze, or develop blisters. Athlete’s foot, which is highly contagious, can spread to the soles and sides of the feet, or even to the hands. Anyone with a weakened immune system is at a greater risk. Prompt treatment is vital to prevent the infection from spreading and worsening. If left untreated, athlete’s foot can lead to bacterial infections derived from skin fissures. For persistent symptoms, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and tailored treatment plans to effectively manage and eradicate the infection. 

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with one of our podiatrists from Cascade Foot Clinic. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.


The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot


Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Bend and Redmond, OR . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


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