What Is Athlete's Foot?
Athlete's foot is a contagious fungal infection. It's caused by a certain kind of fungus that loves warm, moist conditions (like in your boots or shoes).
Here's what you need to know about athlete's foot:
- Athlete's foot causes itchy, dry, cracking skin on your feet (but symptoms may vary).
- Athlete's foot affects 1 in 5 people at some point in their lives.
- Athlete's foot can be cured with antifungal treatments.
- Everyone is susceptible to athlete's foot, not just athletes.
The Causes of Athlete's Foot
You can get athlete's foot by touching someone’s infected skin or through contact with an infected surface (like a shower floor or towel).
Closed-toe shoes (like boots) give the fungus the heat and moisture that it needs to grow and spread.
The fungus that causes athlete's foot can spread—even with brief contact—to different parts of your body (hands, toenails, or the groin area).