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Athlete's Foot Causes and Risk Factors

Athlete's Foot Causes and Risk Factors
What is Athlete's Foot?
Causes and Risk Factors

Causes of athlete's foot
Tinea pedis is the fungus usually responsible for athlete's foot. Tinea pedis infection is usually related to sweating and warmth, and use of occlusive footwear like socks, closed toed shoes, etc. The moist skin area found between your toes is a perfect place for a fungus organism to grow.  Athlete's foot is definitely contagious. The fungus can spread in the following ways:

Human to human - Direct, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person can spread athlete's foot. Not everyone who carries the fungus will develop signs and symptoms of athlete's foot.

Object to human - The fungus that causes athlete's foot can be transported on fragments of skin or other particles on or within floors, mats, rugs, bed linens, clothes, shoes and other surfaces. The infection is usually passed along in public area such as:

  • communal baths and showers
  • locker rooms
  • saunas
  • swimming pools

Animal to human - Household pets may also pass along fungal infections to humans.

Risk factors
You can be at higher risk of athlete's foot if you:

  • are male
  • frequent public areas where the infection can spread
  • have weakened immune system
  • share mats, rugs, bed linens, clothes or shoes with someone else who has a fungal infection
  • wear damp socks or tight fitting shoes on a frequent basis

Early identification of athlete's foot is key to receiving the best treatment available and avoiding any complications of the skin infection.  But do you know how to identify the symptoms of athlete's foot? While some of the symptoms of athlete's foot are well known, there may be additional symptoms to look for. Continue reading about athletes foot symptoms in the next section.

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