Athlete's Foot, Symptoms, Causes and Prevention


Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection that affects the feet. You can usually treat it with creams, sprays or powders from a pharmacy, but it can keep coming back.

Symptoms of athlete's foot

One of the main symptoms of Athlete's foot is itchy white patches between your toes.

It can also cause sore and flaky patches on your feet.

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

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

How to treat and prevent athlete's foot yourself

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.


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


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

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