Athlete's foot (also known as jock itch or fungal skin infections) is a contagious skin infection often caused by the ringworm fungus.
What are the symptoms of athlete's foot?
Athletes foot and fungal infections are easily recognized by an unpleasant odor, moist or red patches, cracking, blistered, or peeling areas especially in between the toes. As the infection progresses, the skin grows soft and the center of the infection becomes inflamed and sensitive to the touch. Gradually, the edges of the infected area become milky white and the skin begins to peel. A slight watery discharge also may be present.
What causes athlete's foot?
The fungus that causes the athlete's foot is called Trichophyton rubrum and can thrive on the upper layers of skin. The infection spreads by direct contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. As the infection spreads, it may affect the soles of the feet or the toenails. The affected skin is also more vulnerable to bacteria that can lead to skin infections. Common areas where the fungus my thrive are locker rooms, pool, saunas, health clubs, public showers, and hot tubs.
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