Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)

Overview of Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)

Athlete’s Foot Meaning in Urdu

یہ بیماری فنگس کی وجہ سے لاحق ہوتی ہے اور اس کا آغاز پاؤں کے انگوٹھے کو متاثر کرنے سے ہوتا ہے۔ یہ فنگل انفیکشن ان لوگوں کو متاثر کرتی ہے جن کے پاؤں زیادہ تر دتک جوتوں میں پسینے میں بھیگے رہتے ہیں۔ اس انفیکشن کی وجہ سے خارش اور ریش کا سامنا کرنا پڑ سکتا ہے اور یہ ایک متعدی بیماری ہے جو کہ تولیے، گندے فرش، اور کپڑوں کے ذریعے منتقل ہو سکتی ہے۔ اگر پاؤں کو باقاعدگی کے ساتھ ہر روز دھویا جائے اور جرابیں تبدیل کی جائیں تو آسانی کے ساتھ اس انفیکشن سے بچا جا سکتا ہے۔


Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a common fungal infection that affects the feet' skin and causes itchiness and other skin conditions. It is known as athlete's foot because it is usually prevalent in athletes due to the warm, moist environments in which they often train and compete, which provide ideal conditions for the growth of fungi. However, anyone can develop Athlete's foot.

Other Names for Athlete’s Foot!

Tinea Pedis, Ringworm, Tinea of the Foot

Prevalence of Athlete's Foot:

Athlete's foot is a common condition. Research shows that between 3 and 15% of the population gets affected. It is more common in men and the elderly.

Signs and Symptoms of Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)

The symptoms of athlete's foot can vary from person to person but typically include:

  • Itching, burning, or stinging sensations on the feet, particularly between the toes
  • Redness, scaling, or cracking of the skin on the feet, particularly between the toes and on the soles
  • Dry, flaky skin on the feet
  • Fluid-filled blisters or ulcers on the feet
  • Thick, discolored toenails that may be brittle or crumbly
  • An unpleasant odor emanating from the feet

If you suspect you have athlete's foot, it's essential to seek treatment from a healthcare professional, as the infection can spread to other parts of the body and other people.

Types of Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)

There are three types of athlete's foot based on the location and pattern of the infection:

  • Interdigital Athlete's Foot: This is the most common type of athlete's foot and typically affects the skin between the toes. It appears as a red, scaly rash that may be itchy or painful. The affected skin may become cracked with a foul odor present. 
  • Moccasin Athlete's Foot: This type of athlete's foot affects the soles of the feet and can extend up the sides. It typically starts as a dry, scaly skin patch and can progress to thick, cracked skin. The affected skin may be itchy with a foul odor. 
  • Vesicular Athlete's Foot: This type of athlete's foot is usually characterized by small, fluid-filled blisters on the feet. The blisters may be itchy and can break open, leading to raw, painful areas of skin.

Causes of Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)

Different types of fungi living in warm, damp environments can cause athlete’s foot. The common areas where these fungi thrive are floors, socks, shoes, locker rooms, showers, swimming pools, etc. Here is a more detailed list of the most common causes of athlete's foot:

  • Fungal Infection: The most common cause of athlete's foot is a fungal infection caused by the dermatophyte fungus. This fungus can grow on dead skin cells on the feet and thrives in warm, moist environments, such as sweaty socks or shoes.
  • Sweaty Feet: Excessive sweating can create an environment in which fungi thrive. People with sweaty feet are likely to develop athlete's feet, particularly if they wear tight-fitting shoes or socks that do not absorb moisture well.
  • Walking Barefoot: Walking barefoot in public places such as locker rooms, swimming pools, and communal showers increases the risk of developing athlete's foot. The fungus that causes an athlete's foot can live on floors and surfaces and spread through contact.
  • Weakened Immune System: People with weakened immune systems, diabetes, HIV, or cancer, are more susceptible to fungal infections, including athlete's foot.
  • Poor Hygiene: Poor hygiene, not washing feet regularly, can increase the risk of developing an athlete's foot.
  • Sharing Personal Items: Sharing personal items, such as towels, socks, or shoes, with someone who has an athlete's foot can spread the infection.
  • Tight-Fitting Shoes: Wearing tight-fitting shoes can increase the risk of developing athlete's foot by creating a warm, moist environment that allows the fungus to thrive.

Athlete’s foot is usually known as a hygiene-related disease, so maintaining good hygiene practices and avoiding walking barefoot in public places can help prevent the development of athlete's foot. 


Risk Factors of Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)

The following are some of the risk factors for developing athlete's foot:

  • Exposure to fungi: The fungi thrive in warm, moist environments such as locker rooms, public showers, and swimming pools. If you frequently walk barefoot in these places, you are at higher risk of being exposed to fungi.
  • Sweating: Excessive sweating can create a warm and moist environment for fungi to grow, increasing the risk of athlete's foot. People who sweat heavily, particularly on their feet, are more likely to develop the infection.
  • Wearing tight shoes: Wearing tight-fitting shoes or boots can create an environment that promotes fungal growth. Tight shoes can cause your feet to sweat more and create a warm and moist environment, which is ideal for fungi.
  • Damaged skin: Any damage to the skin on your feet can increase your risk of athlete's foot. Cuts, blisters, or other injuries can create an entry point for the fungi to enter and infect the skin.
  • Weakened immune system: People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to fungal infections, including athlete's foot. It includes people with conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, or diabetes or those taking medications that suppress the immune system.
  • Age: Athletes' feet can affect people of all ages, but it is more common in adults and older people. It may be due to changes in the skin as you age, making it easier for fungi to infect the skin.

It is important to note that although these factors increase your risk of developing athlete's foot, it is possible to get the infection even if you do not have any of these risk factors.

Complications of Athlete's Foot:

While an athlete's foot is usually not serious, complications associated with this condition can occur if left untreated. Some of the possible complications of athlete's foot include:

  • Spreading to other parts of the body: Athlete's foot can spread to other areas of the body, such as the groin or hands, through scratching or contact with contaminated clothing or surfaces.
  • Bacterial infections: Athlete’s foot causes the skin to crack and break, providing a breeding ground for bacteria and leading to secondary bacterial infections. These infections can cause redness, swelling, and pus.
  • Chronic fungal infection: In some cases, an athlete's foot can develop into a chronic fungal infection that is difficult to treat. It can lead to persistent itching, burning, and skin scaling.
  • Allergic reactions: Some people may develop an allergic reaction to the fungi that cause athlete's foot, leading to a rash, blisters, or hives.
  • Cellulitis: Severe cases of athlete's foot can lead to cellulitis, a bacterial infection that affects the deeper layers of the skin and can spread to the lymph nodes and bloodstream. This condition can cause redness, swelling, warmth, and pain in the affected area.
  • Diabetic complications: People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing foot ulcers and infections, which can be made worse by athlete's foot.

If you suspect that you have athlete's foot or have any concerns about your foot health, it's essential to see a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.



To prevent athlete's foot, you can take the following steps:

  • Keep your feet clean and dry: Wash feet daily with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
  • Wear breathable shoes and socks: Choose shoes and socks made from breathable materials such as cotton or leather to allow air to circulate your feet.
  • Use antifungal powders or sprays: Apply antifungal powders or sprays to your feet and shoes to help prevent fungal growth.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas: Wear flip-flops or sandals in public areas such as locker rooms, showers, and pool areas to reduce your risk of picking up a fungal infection.
  • Change your socks and shoes regularly: Alternate shoes and socks daily to give them time to dry out and reduce the buildup of sweat and moisture.
  • Don't share personal items: Avoid sharing towels, shoes, socks, or other items with others, as this can spread the infection.

By following these tips, you can prevent athlete's foot and keep your feet healthy. If you do develop an athlete's foot, it is essential to treat it promptly to prevent the infection from spreading or becoming more severe.



Physical Examination: A healthcare professional typically performs a physical examination and asks about the symptoms. They will look for signs of redness, scaling, itching, and peeling of the skin on the feet. They may also look for blisters, cracks, and other signs of inflammation.

Skin Biopsy: In some cases, the healthcare professional may take a skin scraping from the affected area to examine under a microscope or send it to a laboratory for fungal culture. It can help confirm the diagnosis and determine the specific type of fungus causing the infection.

Treatment of Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis) | When to Consult a Doctor

For athlete’s foot treatment, Dermatologists recommend over-the-counter medications. These medications may include anti-fungal creams, sprays, or powders. 

Serious infections may necessitate prescription medication, either topical (applied to the skin) or in pill form. To prevent the infection relapse, continue using the medicine for 1 to 2 weeks.