WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

Conditions

Athlete's Foot

Picture of athlete's foot

Is it normal to be scared of the doctor? Vote now! >

You might think that slouching on the sofa with a bag of pork scratchings, abstaining from all athletic pursuits, would render you immune from this fungal infection of the foot. However, this condition is not simply the preserve of the sportsperson, as it’s estimated that it athlete’s foot is present in between 15% – 20% of UK adult population. The infection is caused by a number of fungal species which you can typically pick up from communal areas such as pools, showers and changing rooms, or anywhere where you may walk around barefooted. Athlete’s foot can lead to intense itching, cracked, blistered or peeling areas of skin, redness and scaling. However, sprays, creams and anti-fungal powders can be used to treat the condition.

Watch the Live from the Clinic interactive case video on athlete’s foot >

Watch the Live from the Clinic interactive case video on fungal foot infections >

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

Comments & Questions are now archived, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

When I wear certain shoes my feet feel instantly hot, sweaty and itchy. As soon as I take them off they feel fine. My feet and nails look normal and I have asked a couple of close friends if they smell and have been told that they don't. I can't find any diagnosis that meets my symptoms. Any ideas?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have small deep filled blisters that itch on tops of my toes which then burst and get so painful the skin then peels off leaving deep sores.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have a small crack in between my third and fourth toes on each foot, which I have always thought was athlete's foot, I have now stopped eating refined sugar and after a week the cracks have healed up. This is after about forty years of having these cracks. Life is strange isn't it?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Try caniston cream (for thrush) it works a treat for me my mum told me about it and i was suprised how quickly it worked





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I have had athletes foot for two years now and having tried the cream powder and spray. Have decided to go the natural route and instigate healthy living traits. Such as good diet, excercise, less sugar, less puds, i havent decided if i could wear sandles in winter, more likely in summer to dry the affected area. I also think as in previous advice that boil washing underwear and socks would be a key to killing the bacterial spread. Perhaps throwing socks out or ritualistically burning them ffs. Every 12 months may be a savvy option. I may also have the jock version of athletes foot which i need to investigate. Though a possible cure could be saltwater washes, hands feet and face. Carpets should also be cleaned regually i feel as should floors be mopped. The wearing of slippers indoors could also lessen the chance of contracting the ringworm. Urrgh it is so depressing how easily your body can be attacked by this which in itself has a negative effect on the immune system. Ban bare feet and as you mother and grandmother would say put some clean socks on. Goranga! P.S. Does canyone know if cannisten onces works. Nobody seems to be mentioning that particular product. Im sure other products are available which is most effective?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Try a cream and powder called mycota, I've suffered for a while now and it's the only treatment that's stoppe the itching straight away and cleared up within a week, it's hard to find in chemists but try the pound shops, it's the only place near me I've found it.

I have athletes foot, but i have found a sure fire way of curing it. Colloidal silver is the key to the future. Dont be shy or scared of using it, either make some or buy it online. You will see results within the first day guaranteed





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

The tea tree oil sounds promising. I've used it for so many other things with good healing results that I'll give it a try as well as the salt water soaks. My husband had athlete's foot a long time ago and penicillin and topical cream was prescribed (not sure which cream) but it was better within a week.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Now my feet are so itchy peeling and I even get blisters at one point it was athletic foot after the 4 weeks of treatment twice it has not held my soles of my feet I need help please!!!!





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Really need a bit of advice!! Iv got what I think might be athletes foot & need answers on how to cure it it's making my life hell! Please any suggestes would be great :D thank you X





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi, I think it's best to see your local GP. I did and got prescribed cream that cleared it up instantly. Hope that helped

This may be helpful to some. Ive had problems with fungal infections for a few years now, and the athletes foot part of it has been since i was about 6 or 7, im 24 now. As well as athletes foot ive had recurunt bouts of thush, fungal infections between my fingers and sebhoreic dermatitis on my face and neck. Ive tried countless creams and topical treatments to little success overall. But a few things have stuck. The first massive trigger of fungal infections getting worse is stress! And sugar. Ive always been a sugar binger when im stressed and the combination makes it so much worse. Diet is key and you really are made up of what you eat. So cutting down on sugar helps massivly. The second thing i noticed is most harsh chemicals in washing poweders, ones with strong scents and shampoos, and body washes dry your skin out, strip the good oils and make the whole thing worse. Look for shampoos and bodywashes with as little artificial scents as possible. And avoid at all costs chemicals such as MI Methylisothiazolinone. Research seems to indicate up to 10 percent of people bave a reaction to it and i certainly noticed my skin was better for cutting it out. Thirdly! Boil Wash. Boil wash your underwear, socks and towls. This kills the spores and bacteria that stick to the fibres of your socks and helps prevent reinfection. It may be more time consuming but regrettably is something that needs to be done regularly. I now only boilwash these items. 4th in lue of harsh chemicals and cleansers, salt water washes do the world of good, washing your feet or face in a strong warm salt water solution and then leaving for a few minutes and rinseing has been the most effective change to help clear up bad flare ups. A few washes morning and night combined with an antifungal cream such as clotrimazole helps clear up break outs of fungal infections on my face in a few days. For my athletes foot ive found after drying my feet from a shower or foot bath calendula powder helps reduce the itching, keeps your feet dry snd helps heal the skin. Keep your feet clean by washing and re applying in the morning and evening. Athletes foot comes and gos but after reading the comments i thought id share my story. There is light at the end and you will have to make changes. Some permenant and some if you have flare ups. Recap: 1) less sugar. 2) avoid purfumed shampoo, bodywash, bar soap altogether (bacteria loves the lipids) and washing powder. 3) boil wash underwear and socks and towls 4) salt water washes (seasalt bathwash from supermarkets £2 per kg) folowed by drying and applying either clotrimazole and calendula powder). Avoid loads of moisturiser on the affected area if on your face. Try to use only the cream for the first few days. 5) keep the area clean and dry Hope thos helps





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Thank you very helpfull


Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here


More Information

  1. Body Check: Feet

    In Videos - Dr Christian talks about common foot conditions and the importance…

  2. Quick Health Advice: Athlete's Foot

    In Videos - Dr Harper gives out some advice on how to avoid getting the particu…

  3. Breasts

    In Episodes - In this second of four specials, the Embarrassing Illnesses doctors…

  4. Men

    In Episodes - The EI Docs go in search of the most elusive creature in the doctor…

  5. Vaginas

    In Episodes - The EI team roll into Norwich to setup a clinic in one of the count…

  6. Teens Below the Belt

    In Episodes - Episode 4 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies tackles conditions includi…

  7. Boys, Boys, Boys

    In Episodes - Episode 3 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies takes a closer look at bin…

  8. Am I Normal?

    In Episodes - Episode 2 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies looks at conditions includ…

  9. Episode 1

    In Episodes - The first set of cases through the EI doors included cases of Piles…

  10. Doctor Responses: Foot Problems

    In Videos - Dr Dawn aims to keep your feet healthy by answering the most popula…

  11. Consultation: Second Adult Circumcision

    In Videos - Dr Jessen examines a patient in need of a new circumcision

  12. Dr Priya Manickavasagar

    Doctor Info - Find out more about Dr Priya.

  13. James Russell

    Doctor Info - Find out more about James Russell.

  14. Consultation: Soreness on the Penis

    In Videos - A patient is examined for soreness around his penis

  15. Consultation: Bunions

    In Videos - A few particularly painful bunions are examined by Dr McKenna


More Information

Content supplied by NHS Choices

Athlete's foot is a very common condition, which affects many people at some point during their lives. It is caused by a fungal infection, which affects the skin on your feet. The infection is normally mild and is easy to treat. Athlete's foot usually affects the skin in between your toes, causing it to be red, flaky and itchy. Read More »

Am I Normal?

Share, explore, vote, watch… Am I Normal? is a bold new Channel 4 project that will redefine what you think of as ‘normal’.

Visit Am I Normal? >