What is Tinea pedis ?

Tinea pedis (also known as foot ringworm or athlete's foot) is an infection of the feet involving the soles, interdigital clefts of toes, and nails due to a dermatophyte fungus. This condition is common in people with highly sweaty feet confined in tight-fitting shoes.

Athlete's foot symptoms include an itchy, scaly rash. This disease is contagious and can be easily transferred through contaminated floors, towels, or clothing.

Athlete's foot disease is similar to other types of fungal infections like ringworm and jock itch. It is treatable with antifungal medications, but the infection frequently recurs.


One or both feet may be affected in the tinea pedis or athlete's foot. The following are common signs and symptoms:

  • Skin between the toes that is peeling, scaly, or cracked.
  • Itchiness, especially after removing shoes and socks.
  • Skin that is inflamed and may appear reddish, purplish, or greyish. depending on your skin color
  • Stinging or burning sensations in the foot
  • Dry and scaly skin on the bottom of the foot that extends upside.
  • Blisters

When to see a doctor?

One should seek medical attention if the foot rash does not improve after two weeks of self-treatment with over-the-counter antifungal products.

Consult your doctor if you have diabetes and suspect athlete's foot, or have any signs of an infection, such as swelling, pus, or fever.

At Medicover Hospitals, get the best treatment for tinea pedis disease from our experienced dermatologist.


Tinea pedis is a foot infection caused by a fungus called dermatophytes. It is the same fungus that causes ringworm and jock itch. Wearing damp socks and shoes, as well as warm, humid conditions promotes the growth of the organisms.

Athlete's foot or Tinea pedis is contagious and can be spread by coming into contact with an infected person or touching the contaminated surfaces such as towels, floors, and shoes. It can also easily spread from the foot to other parts of the body,particularly if you keep touching or scratching on the infected areas of your foot.

Risk Factors

You are more likely to get an athlete's foot in the following conditions:

  • Wearing enclosed footwear
  • Wearing unwashed socks for long periods
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sharing mats, rugs, bed linens, clothes, or shoes of an infected person.
  • Prolonged exposure to water
  • Warm and humid conditions


These precautions can help you avoid athlete's foot or prevent it from spreading to others:

Allow your feet to breathe

Wear footwear that allows your feet to get some air and skin to breathe.

Every day clean your feet

Use warm, soapy water to wash your feet and dry them properly. If prone to athlete's foot, use a medicated foot powder.

Regularly change your socks

Change your socks at least once a day if your feet become excessively sweaty. Moisture-wicking socks, such as cotton socks keep your feet drier than nylon socks.

Alternate shoe pairs

Wear different shoes daily, allowing your shoes to dry after each use.

In public places, keep your feet protected

Wear water-resistant sandals or shoes near public pools, showers, and locker rooms.

Be aware of the risk factors

Don't share shoes, dirty bedding, or towels if you live with others.


A dermatologist may be able to diagnose an athlete's foot by examining its symptoms. Athlete's foot can resemble dry skin or dermatitis. For accurate diagnosis and to rule out other conditions, your doctor may take a skin scraping sample from the affected skin area for testing in a lab.


Suppose nonprescription products and self-care don't work, in that case, you might need to show the infection to a dermatologist. The doctor can prescribe cream or ointment, such as clotrimazole, econazole, or ciclopirox. Antifungal medicines such as terbinafine (Lamisil) or itraconazole (Sporanox, Tolsura) are prescribed if the infection starts getting more severe.

Do’s and Don't

Tinea pedis is a chronic infection that can recur frequently. Therefore, it is crucial to follow a set of do’s and don’ts to manage it effectively. If left untreated it can spread to other body parts and being a contagious infection it is transmissible to other people.

Do’s Don't
Avoid wearing closed shoes in warm and moist environments Avoid foot hygiene
Dry your toes in between after bath Visit public places with barefoot
Change socks frequently Keep touching or scraping the skin infection.
Use prescribed antifungal medications on the affected area Wear dirty and damp socks
Practice good foot hygiene practices Wear same shoes everyday

Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover Hospitals, we have the most trusted team of doctors and medical experts who are experienced in providing excellent healthcare services to the patients with compassionate care. Our diagnostic department is equipped with modern technology and equipment to conduct the tests required for the diagnosis of Tinea pedis, based on which a dedicated treatment plan is designed. We have an excellent team of dermatologists and other specialists who collaborate to diagnose and treat this condition with utmost precision to deliver successful treatment outcomes.



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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What's the best way to treat tinea pedis (athlete's foot)?

The top treatment for tinea pedis, or athlete's foot, is using special medicines that fight the fungus. These come in creams, sprays, or powders you put on your feet. You can get them at the store, or sometimes a doctor might give you stronger ones.

2. Can you get rid of tinea pedis completely?

Yes, you can totally get rid of tinea pedis if you use the right treatment. Following the instructions for the fungus medicine and taking good care of your feet can help make it go away and stop it from coming back.

3. Is tinea pedis dangerous?

Tinea pedis isn't really dangerous for your overall health, but it can be really uncomfortable. It can make your feet itch, burn, and crack. If you don't treat it, it might spread and make your symptoms worse.

4. Is tinea pedis caused by bacteria or something else?

Tinea pedis is caused by something called a fungus, not bacteria. This type of fungus likes warm, damp places, which is why it often shows up on people's feet.

5. Is tinea pedis the same as ringworm?

Sort of! Tinea pedis is like a special kind of ringworm that happens on your feet. But ringworm can also happen on other parts of your body.

6. Who's more likely to get tinea pedis?

Anyone can get tinea pedis, but some things can make it more likely. If your feet sweat a lot, if your shoes don't let your feet breathe, if you walk around barefoot in places like gyms or pools, or if your immune system isn't super strong, you might be at a higher risk.

7. Can tinea pedis spread to others?

Yes, it can spread from person to person. If you touch someone's infected feet, or if you share things like shoes or towels, the fungus can jump from one person to another.

8. How long does it take for tinea pedis to get better?

With the right treatment, mild cases of tinea pedis can start getting better in a few weeks. But if it's really bad or keeps coming back, it might take longer to heal. Keep using the treatment as told even if you start feeling better.

9. What causes tinea infections in the first place?

Tinea infections, like tinea pedis, happen when you come into contact with tiny fungal spores. These spores like warm, wet places, so they hang out in places like locker rooms and pools.

10. Is tinea pedis caused by a virus?

Nope, tinea pedis isn't caused by a virus. It's all about the fungus!

11. How can I treat tinea pedis at home?

At home, you can help treat tinea pedis by keeping your feet clean and dry, wearing comfy shoes that let your feet breathe, changing your socks often, and using special creams or powders for fungus. But if it doesn't get better or gets worse, it's best to talk to a doctor.

12. Why won't my tinea pedis go away?

Sometimes tinea pedis sticks around because the treatment isn't used the right way or the fungus is tough. Also, if you don't fix what caused it—like wearing damp shoes—it might come back. If your tinea pedis doesn't go away, it's good to get help from a doctor.