Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection that affects the feet. You can usually treat it with creams, sprays or powders from a pharmacy, but it can keep coming back.
Check if you have athlete's foot
Symptoms of athlete's foot include:
It can also affect your soles or sides of your feet. If it's not treated, it can spread to your toenails and cause a fungal nail infection.
Athlete's foot sometimes causes fluid-filled blisters.
A pharmacist can help with athlete's foot
Athlete's foot is unlikely to get better on its own, but you can buy antifungal medicines for it from a pharmacy. They usually take a few weeks to work.
Athlete's foot treatments are available as:
They're not all suitable for everyone – for example, some are only for adults. Always check the packet or ask a pharmacist.
You might need to try a few treatments to find one that works best for you.
How you can help treat and prevent athlete's foot yourself
You can keep using some pharmacy treatments to stop athlete's foot coming back.
It's also important to keep your feet clean and dry. You don't need to stay off work or school.
Keep following this advice after finishing treatment to help stop athlete's foot coming back.
See a GP if:
Treatment for athlete's foot from a GP
Your GP may:
How you get athlete's foot
You can catch athlete's foot from other people with the infection.
You can get it by:
You're more likely to get it if you have wet or sweaty feet, or if the skin on your feet is damaged.