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Athlete's foot

Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection that affects your feet.

The main symptoms of athlete's foot are itchy white patches and cracked skin, usually between the toes.

You can usually treat athlete's foot using antifungal creams, sprays or powders bought from a pharmacy. See a GP if these do not work.

You can catch athlete's foot from walking barefoot in places where someone else has it or touching the affected skin of someone with it.

Read more on the NHS website.

The main symptoms of athlete's foot are itchy white patches and cracked skin, usually between the toes.

Symptoms of athlete's foot

Itchy white patches between your toes

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Sore and flaky patches on your feet

The skin can look red, but this may be less noticeable on brown or black skin.

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Cracked or bleeding skin on your feet

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Other symptoms

Athlete's foot can also affect your soles or sides of your feet. It sometimes causes fluid-filled blisters.

If it's not treated, the infection can spread to your toenails and cause a fungal nail infection.

Read more on the NHS website.

You can usually treat athlete's foot using antifungal creams, sprays or powders bought from a pharmacy. See a GP if these do not work.

Self-care

You can keep using some pharmacy treatments to stop athlete's foot coming back.

It's also important to keep your feet clean and dry. You do not need to stay off work or school.


Do

  • dry your feet after washing them, particularly between your toes – dab them dry rather than rubbing them

  • use a separate towel for your feet and wash it regularly

  • take your shoes off when at home

  • wear clean socks every day – cotton socks are best


Don't

  • do not scratch affected skin – this can spread it to other parts of your body

  • do not walk around barefoot – wear flip-flops in places like changing rooms and showers

  • do not share towels, socks or shoes with other people

  • do not wear the same pair of shoes for more than 2 days in a row

  • do not wear shoes that make your feet hot and sweaty

Important

Keep following this advice after finishing treatment to help stop athlete's foot coming back.

Medical treatments

The GP may:

  • send a small scraping of skin from your feet to a laboratory to check you have athlete's foot
  • prescribe a steroid cream to use alongside antifungal cream
  • prescribe antifungal tablets – you might need to take these for several weeks
  • refer you to a skin specialist (dermatologist) for more tests and treatment if needed

Read more on the NHS website.

You can catch athlete's foot from walking barefoot in places where someone else has it or touching the affected skin of someone with it.

Read more on the NHS website.