Athlete's foot is an infection of the feet caused by fungus or yeast. The medical term is tinea pedis, or ringworm of the foot.
Tinea pedis; Fungal infection - feet; Tinea of the foot; Infection - fungal - feet; Ringworm - foot
Athlete's foot occurs when a certain fungus or yeast grows on the skin of your feet. The same fungus may also grow on the heels, palms, and between the fingers.
Athlete's foot is the most common type of tinea infection. The fungus or yeast thrives in warm, moist areas. Your risk for getting athlete's foot increases if you:
- Wear closed shoes, especially if they are plastic-lined
- Keep your feet wet for long periods
- Sweat a lot
- Develop a minor skin or nail injury
Athlete's foot is easily spread. It can be passed through direct contact or contact with items such as shoes, stockings, and shower or pool surfaces.