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Tinea pedis or athlete's foot is a fungal infection of the skin on the foot often occurring between the toes and sometimes on the heel. Transmission of tinea pedis occurs either through direct contact with infected skin or through indirect contact, such as by socks or bathroom and locker floors where the fungus may be present. Once present on the foot, tinea pedis organisms grow extensions that infect the upper skin layer. Ringworm infection of the feet is known as athlete's foot, while ringworm affecting the groin is called jock itch. When checked, Shutterstock's safe search screens restricted content and excludes it from your search results. Tinea pedis is highly contagious and can be contracted through either direct or indirect contact. Tinea pedis is a common organism on the human body, but it can quickly multiply and result in infections given the right environment.

The skin responds by increasing skin-cell production in an attempt to rid the body of the infection.
These are typically applied once or twice daily and take two to four weeks to resolve the infection. Go barefoot when at home and wear natural fiber socks that will wick sweat and moisture away from the skin. The severity of infection varies and can last as little as a week or two to as long as a month or more. Pets in the home also transmit fungal infections such as tinea pedis to humans sometimes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Risk of infection increases if shoes are worn which do not allow air circulation, if feet remain wet or sweaty for long periods of time and if the skin is already damaged as this is an opportunistic type of microorganism. This causes thick, scaly skin that seems to move in an outward circular fashion as the fungi continues spreading.

If you find that your socks are damp at any point in the day, put on a new, dry pair as soon as possible. Men and those with compromised immune systems are at increased risk of contracting a tinea pedis infection. Treatment includes over-the-counter medication in most cases, though severe cases may require a prescription.
Avoid secondary infections by not scratching or doing anything to further irritate the skin.

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