Selection of foot products

Athlete's foot

Help fungus be gone

What is athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot is a fungal foot infection caused by fungi that can grow and multiply on the skin. The fungi thrives in dark, warm and moist environments, like in between the toes or on the bottom of the foot. 

The infection can cause the skin on your foot to have a rash and become sore, red and itchy. If left untreated it can spread to other parts of the body.

Signs of athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot usually appears on the skin in between your toes but can appear elsewhere on your feet. The skin might be:

  • Sore
  • Dry, red and flaky
  • White and cracked
  • Itchy
  • Blistered 

The infected foot fungus can also spread to your toenails and lead to a fungal nail infection, where the nail can look yellow or misshapen.

What’s the cause of athlete’s foot?

Fungi multiply in warm, moist conditions so it’s important to keep your feet clean and dry. Athlete’s foot can be caused by:

  • Shoes that can make your feet hot and sweaty
  • Walking barefoot in communal areas, such as swimming pools or gyms where fungal infections can spread easily
  • Contact with contaminated objects or surfaces
  • Touching infected skin
  • Sharing bedding, towels or shoes 
  • A weakened immune system or health condition such as diabetes

Athlete’s foot treatment

It’s important to treat athlete’s foot with an antifungal medication, available over the counter in the form of a spray, cream or powder. This can help stop the fungus from growing. The treatment needs to be applied directly to the infection as well as the surrounding area. Always read the packaging and any leaflet that accompanies the product for full details on how to use the product appropriately. Wash and dry the affected area before each application, and make sure to wash your hands afterwards. You should continue treatment as per product instructions and until the rash has cleared completely to ensure all the fungus has gone.

Ask your Boots pharmacy team or your GP for further advice if you are not sure which treatments are suitable for you.

Prevention tips

It’s always best to avoid athlete’s foot by practising good foot hygiene. Here are some top tips:

  • Always wear clean, cotton socks and change them often
  • Try and wear shoes made of natural materials such as leather 
  • Dry your feet after washing, especially in between your toes
  • Change your shoes as often as possible
  • Wear protective shoes in communal areas such as public showers
  • Don’t share towels and socks with other people
  • Use talcum powder to help prevent your feet from getting sweaty