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Athlete's Foot


Athlete's foot

is a foot infection caused by a fungus.

Common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Cracks or blisters
  • Redness, swelling, itching, or burning
  • Scaly or peeling skin
  • Bad smelling feet
  • Thick, dark skin on the bottoms or sides of your feet
  • Thick, abnormal toenails

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • You have red streaks going up your leg.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your infection spreads or you have a rash on other parts of your body.
  • Your infection is not better in 14 days or completely gone in 90 days.
  • The skin on your foot or leg is red and hot.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


Athlete's foot is usually treated with an antifungal medicine. This medicine may be given as a cream or pill. You may need a doctor's order for this medicine. Take the medicine until it is gone, even if your feet look like they are healed.

Prevent the spread of athlete's foot:

  • Prevent the spread of this infection to other parts of your body. When you shower, dry your groin area and other parts of your body before you dry your feet.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry. Wash your feet each day and dry them well, especially between your toes. After your feet are dry, put powder on your feet and between your toes. Wear clean cotton or wool socks each day. Put your socks on first so you do not spread the infection to other areas of your body. Wear sandals, canvas tennis shoes, or other shoes that allow air to flow to your feet. This helps keep your feet dry. Do not use shoes that are tight, or made of plastic or rubber.
  • Soak your feet in an astringent (drying) solution as directed if you have blisters. You may need to do this for 20 to 30 minutes, 2 times each day to help dry out the blisters.
  • Wear shoes in public areas. Wear shower shoes or sandals in warm, damp areas. This includes shower stalls, near swimming pools, and locker rooms. Do not share socks or shoes. Do not use public swimming pools.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Athlete's Foot (Ambulatory Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.