What is Athlete's Foot?
Written by Amanda Wattson, MD   
Monday, 05 October 2009
Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that affects the top layer of the skin.
What is going on in the body?

Athlete's foot is usually caused by a fungus called Trichophyton. It is a common condition that affects some people more than others.
The infection is generally limited to the top layer of skin.
What are the causes and risks of the disease?

Sometimes this condition becomes so uncomfortable that the person cannot perform his or her daily routine. If the infection causes skin breakdown, a bacterial infection can result. Bacterial infection can be very harmful, and sometimes, life threatening.

What are the treatments for the disease?

Athlete's foot is easy to treat at home using an over-the-counter antifungal cream. The creams may contain tolnaftate, miconazole, or other medicines.

If over-the-counter creams do not work, a prescription medicine will be needed. The healthcare provider may prescribe antifungal pills, such as itraconazole or fluconazole.

Once the infection has healed, a person should follow the prevention measures listed above. The best way to avoid problems is to check the feet often for signs of anything unusual.