Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Athlete's Foot - What Increases Your Risk

Athlete's 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 rooms.

Athlete's foot is contagious, but 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 aren't susceptible to athlete's foot, you may come in contact with the fungi that cause athlete's foot yet not get an infection. But you can still spread the fungi to others.

Risk factors you cannot change

Risk factors you cannot change include:

  • Being male. Men are more susceptible than women.
  • Having a history of being susceptible to fungal infections.
  • Having an impaired immune system (due to conditions such as diabetes or cancer).
  • Living in a warm, damp climate.
  • Aging. Athlete's foot is more common in older adults. Children rarely get it.

Risk factors you can change

Risk factors you can change include:

  • Allowing your feet to remain damp.
  • Wearing tight, poorly ventilated shoes.
  • Using public or shared showers or locker rooms without wearing shower shoes.
  • Doing activities that involve being in the water for long periods of time.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash.
woman with dyed dark hair
What it says about your health.
woman with cleaning products
Top causes of the itch that rashes.
atopic dermatitus
Identify and treat common skin problems.
itchy skin
shingles rash on skin
woman with skin tag
Woman washing face
woman washing her hair in sink
close up of womans bare neck
woman with face cream