Athlete’s foot is a fungal condition which easily spreads between the toes and other parts of the foot. It can be extremely irritating and itchy, as well as very contagious.


Athlete’s foot is a rash caused by a fungus that usually appears between the toes or the bottom of the feet.

The affected skin may become:

  • White, soggy and cracked
  • Itchy, red, scaly or dry
  • Cracked or blistered
  • Sore

It’s not usually serious, but should be treated to stop it spreading to other parts of the body or other people.


Athlete’s foot is caused by fungi growing and multiplying on the skin. The fungi that cause the infection thrive in warm, dark and moist places like feet.

Athletes foot can be easily spread to other people by touching infected skin or coming into contact with infected surfaces or objects.

You’re more likely to get athletes foot if you:

  • Don’t keep your feet clean and dry
  • Wear shoes that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty
  • Walk around barefoot in places where fungal infections can spread easily, such as communal showers, locker rooms and gyms
  • Share towels, socks and shoes with other people


Athlete’s foot is unlikely to get better on its own. It can usually be treated using antifungal treatments

  • When applying treatment they should be applied directly to the affected skin and surrounding area
  • You need to wash and dry the affected skin before applying the treatment, and clean your hands afterwards
  • Continue treatment after the rash has cleared, as described in the leaflet that comes with your medicine, to make sure all the fungus has gone

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