Causes and Diagnoses
Causes and Diagnoses of Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection that thrives in a warm, moist environment. It’s easily spread by contact with the fungus in a variety of ways:
- Touching the feet of someone who’s infected
- Sharing personal items, such as towels or shoes
- Walking barefoot on contaminated floors, particularly damp floors at a pool or in a locker room
Preventing the spread of athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot is easily prevented. If you are susceptible to the fungus, you can avoid an infection by:
- Wearing shower shoes at the pool and gym
- Drying your feet and between your toes thoroughly before putting on socks and shoes
- Always wearing clean socks that allow your feet to “breathe”
- Letting your shoes dry out before wearing them again
- Not sharing anything that could have come in contact with the fungus, such as socks, shoes or towels.
Diagnosing athlete’s foot
Your physician can diagnose athlete’s foot through a physical exam and discussion of your symptoms. In rare cases, a skin scraping from the infected area may be analyzed in a lab to confirm the diagnosis.