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Interesting History of Athlete’s Foot

Tuesday, 11 June 2024 00:00

Athlete's foot, medically known as tinea pedis, has a history dating back centuries. Its first documented mention dates to ancient Egypt, where papyrus scrolls described skin infections resembling the symptoms of modern-day athlete's foot. However, it was not until the 20th century that the condition garnered significant attention. The rise of urbanization, the use of closed shoes with socks that retained moisture, and the increased use of communal bathing facilities during the early 1900s contributed to the widespread occurrence of athlete's foot. Additionally, the damp and unsanitary conditions prevalent during World Wars I and II facilitated its rapid spread among soldiers in trenches and barracks. Despite advancements in hygiene and healthcare, athlete's foot remains a prevalent issue today. The fungus thrives in warm, moist environments such as locker rooms and swimming pools. If left untreated, it can lead to discomfort, itching, and skin breakdown. If you think you have athlete’s foot, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for guidance in managing this condition.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is often an uncomfortable condition to experience. Thankfully, podiatrists specialize in treating athlete’s foot and offer the best treatment options. If you have any questions about athlete’s foot, consult with Dr. Robert Marcus from Foot & Ankle Center of Teaneck. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality treatment.

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

Tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a non-serious and common fungal infection of the foot. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can be contracted by touching someone who has it or infected surfaces. The most common places contaminated by it are public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Once contracted, it grows on feet that are left inside moist, dark, and warm shoes and socks.


The most effective ways to prevent athlete’s foot include:

  • Thoroughly washing and drying feet
  • Avoid going barefoot in locker rooms and public showers
  • Using shower shoes in public showers
  • Wearing socks that allow the feet to breathe
  • Changing socks and shoes frequently if you sweat a lot


Athlete’s foot initially occurs as a rash between the toes. However, if left undiagnosed, it can spread to the sides and bottom of the feet, toenails, and if touched by hand, the hands themselves. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Scaly and peeling skin

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is quick and easy. Skin samples will be taken and either viewed under a microscope or sent to a lab for testing. Sometimes, a podiatrist can diagnose it based on simply looking at it. Once confirmed, treatment options include oral and topical antifungal medications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Teaneck, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


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