Athlete’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a very common fungal skin infection of the foot. It often first appears between the toes. It can be a one-time occurrence or it can be chronic. The fungus, known as Trichophyton, thrives under warm, damp conditions so people whose feet sweat a great deal are more susceptible. It is easily transmitted in showers and swimming pool walkways. Those people with immunosuppressive conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, are also more susceptible to athlete’s foot. On other parts of the body this infection is often called ringworm.
Diagnosis is via symptoms or examining skin scrapings under a microscope. A mixed infection with bacteria in addition to fungus may be suspected in cases that do not respond to typical therapy. A skin culture may be useful in this case.
This information does not replace the advice of a physician nor does it imply a physican – patient relationship between the reader and Dr. Gross.