Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s Foot Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

It sounds like something you’d get only after running a marathon, but athlete’s foot is an equal opportunity fungal disease. It likes warm, humid environments – such as gyms, showers, locker rooms, pools and similar, public sports-oriented environments – and it loves bare skin.

The type of fungi (Trichophyton) that makes your feet feel like they are on fire, also causes jock itch and ringworm. Once found only in isolated areas of Southeast Asia and Australia, tourism and war helped Trichophyton spread around the world. It’s a relatively recent arrival in the United States, its first recorded appearance here was in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1920s.


  • A white, scaly rash with a red base, typically located on the soles of the feet and in between the toes
  • Intense itching and a feeling of heat/burning in the affected area
  • Cracked, peeling, flaking skin between the toes or side of the foot
  • Stinging pain
  • Blisters
  • Discolored, thick, and occasionally crumbling toenails if the fungus spreads to the nails

Get Medical Help If:

  • Your foot is swollen and feels warm to the touch.
  • You see pus or other signs of infection.
  • You have a fever.
  • You notice red streaks radiating out from the infected area.
  • You have diabetes or a weakened immune system.
  • If conditions worsen or symptoms do not improve in 7 days.

Is it contagious? Yes. You can get athlete’s foot from touching or otherwise coming into contact with the feet/toes of someone who is infected, as well as pets and surfaces (floors, towels, bedding, shoes, socks, etc.) The fungus will also spread to other parts of the body, including palms, scalp, underarms and groin, if you scratch your feet and then touch those body parts.


Domeboro® Soothing Soak, recommended for over 5 decades by doctors for the relief of skin irritations, effectively helps treat the symptoms of athlete’s foot while supporting healing. An astringent, Domeboro® was designed to gently and safely reduce rash-caused redness and blistering while calming the urge to scratch which can spread or worsen the infection.

Domeboro® Soothing Soak can be used with a compress/wet dressing or as a soak. Mix 1, 2, or 3 packets in 16 ounces of cool or warm water.

  • Compress or wet dressing: Immerse a compress or wet dressing in the solution and apply to affected area for 15 to 30 minutes. Repeat as needed or as directed by a doctor.
  • Soak: Immerse the affected area directly in the solution for 15-30 minutes. Repeat the soak 3 times a day or as directed by a doctor. Discard the solution after each use.
  • Humans can catch athlete’s foot from their pets. Men get athlete’s foot more frequently than women.
  • Athlete’s Foot is caused by a dermatophyte, a type of fungus. The name comes from the Greek words for “skin” (derma) and “a plant” (phyte).
  • Once you have had athlete’s foot, you are more likely to get it again.

Other Treatments

  • Try over-the-counter or prescription antifungal creams or sprays.
  • Expose the infected skin to cool, dry air as much as possible. Remember that fungi thrive in warm, humid environments.
  • Wear socks made of natural fibers, like cotton or wool.


Cover your feet with the appropriate footwear (shower sandals, flip-flops, etc.) in public areas such as pools, gyms, locker rooms and shared showers. Keep your feet dry and clean, wear socks that absorb moisture and air your shoes for 24-hours before wearing again. Athletic shoes should be fully dried after exposure to sweat, rain or other moisture before wearing. If you are prone to contracting athlete’s foot, you may want to regularly apply antifungal powder on your feet, especially during the warmer months. If you do have athlete’s foot, wash your hands thoroughly after touching the infected area to keep the fungus from spreading elsewhere on your body, or passing it along to others. Wash any materials such as socks, sheets, etc. that come into contact with the infected area with hot water (and bleach, when possible).

If you are seeking effective athlete’s foot treatment, discover more about Domeboro®.

Domeboro*** February 21, 2019