The What, Where, Who & How of Tinea Pedis (Athlete’s Foot)

not athletic athletes foot meme

Sorry folks, having athlete’s foot won’t make you more athletic (we’ve done the research). Athlete’s foot, otherwise known in the podiatry world as tinea pedis, is a common fungal infection of the skin on the feet. 


What is Tinea Pedis?

There are 3 types of fungus that are usually the main culprits when it comes to Tinea Pedis – Trichophyton Rubrum, Trichophyton Mentagrophytes and Epidermophyton Floccosum. 

The fungus enters the skin by producing enzymes that break down the skin cells and allows the fungus to penetrate the skin. 

Tinea pedis can present in a number of different ways, including dry skin, maceration, blistering and redness. 

It presents on the soles of your feet, in between your toes and on your heels, however it can also spread onto the top of your feet if left untreated. 

It can be extremely itchy and when scratched and can create painful breaks in the skin. 

Often, it can be mistaken for eczema or psoriasis, therefore it is important to tell your podiatrist if you do regularly suffer from these skin conditions as well. 

tinea pedis on the side of the foot


Where Could I Have Picked Up a Tinea Infection?

Due to its highly infectious nature, there are a few places that are notorious for contracting athlete’s foot, with one of the most common places being your local swimming pool. Whilst it is fantastic to keep fit by swimming, the pool deck provides the perfect environment for the fungus to thrive. 

Tinea loves moist, warm conditions which unfortunately means that those who love to swim are susceptible. 

Communal showers and sports halls are also hot spots to be weary of.


Who Usually Suffers from Athlete’s Foot?

tinea pedis (athlete's foot) between little toes

Tinea pedis is more common in adults and is rarely seen in children, as they tend to suffer from other foot ailments such as warts. 


How Can I Avoid Tinea Infections?

There are a few things that you can do to avoid suffering from Athlete’s Foot. Some of the precautionary things we recommend are:

  • Ensuring you wear thongs or sandals around the pool deck and in communal showers. Whilst this doesn’t totally eliminate your risk, it does provide a barrier between your feet and the floor, which does help to decrease your chances of contracting Tinea.
  • Ensure you are adequately drying your feet, in particular between your toes. By keeping your feet appropriately dry, you are depriving the fungus of their ideal environment. Try using talcum powder on your feet after you’ve dried your feet. 
  • Make sure that you are washing your socks regularly. Also consider airing-out your shoes if you tend to sweat a lot.  This helps to reduce those moist environments that Tinea thrives in. 


How Can Tinea Be Treated?

There are a number of different treatments available for Tinea.

  • Anti-fungal products such as SolvEasy, Lamisil, Daktarin and Canesten. These products work to kill the fungus and restore foot health. 
  • Application of tea tree oil – a natural antifungal which can help treat tinea pedis.
solveasy tinea cream treatment product


If you are in located in Melbourne and think you may be experiencing Tinea Pedis, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Watsonia Podiatry on 03 9432 2689, or alternatively you can book online.

We can diagnose your Tinea infection, help you treat it and get those feet back to their best!

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