Athlete's foot

Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is a fungal infection of the skin on the feet. Symptoms of athlete's foot can vary from mild to severe and include peeling, cracking, and scaling on the bottoms of the feet and between the toes; itching or burning; and a slight odor.

There are three types of athlete's foot:

  • Toe web (interdigital) infection usually occurs between the fourth and fifth toes.
  • Moccasin-type infection affects the sole or heel.
  • Vesicular infection (blisters) usually occurs on the skin of the instep but may also develop between the toes, on the heel, or on the sole or top of the foot.

Some people are more susceptible than others to athlete's foot. Athlete's foot is treated with antifungal medicines, which are available in topical form (applied directly to the skin) or as pills. The condition tends to recur, even after successful treatment.

Last Updated: July 2, 2008

Author: Maria G. Essig, MS, ELS

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine

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