Athlete's Foot - Cause
(tinea pedis) is a
fungal infection of the skin of the foot. Most
athlete's foot is caused by one of two types of fungus.
Trichophyton mentagrophytes often causes
toe web or
vesicular (blisterlike) infections. The infection
appears suddenly, is severe, and is easily treated.
Trichophyton rubrum often causes
moccasin-type infections. This condition lasts for a
long time (chronic) and is difficult to treat.
You get athlete's foot when you come in contact with the
fungus and it begins to grow on your skin. Fungi commonly grow on or in the top
layer of human skin and may or may not cause infections. Fungi grow best in
warm, moist areas, such as the area between the toes.
foot is easily spread (contagious). You can get it by touching the affected area
of a person who has it. More commonly, you pick up the fungi from damp,
contaminated surfaces, such as the floors in public showers or locker
Although athlete's foot is contagious, some people are more
likely to get it (susceptible) than others.
Susceptibility may increase with age. Experts don't know why some people are
more likely to get it. After you have had athlete's foot, you are more likely
to get it again.
If you come in contact with the fungi that cause
athlete's foot, you can spread the fungi to others, whether you get the
infection or not.