Athlete’s foot is the term used for a common disorder affecting the skin between the toes. The cleft between the fourth and fifth toes is the most frequently affected, with moist soft skin that peels off easily. Often the skin splits uncomfortably (a fissure). It may smell unpleasant. It is generally mild but a very inflamed athlete’s foot is generally due to secondary bacterial infection.
Athlete’s foot can be due to one factor or a combination of factors. Athlete’s foot is more common in those who participate in sports because:
If there is no infection, or treatment of infection does not control the symptoms, an underlying skin condition could be responsible. Look for signs of psoriasis (scaly patches in scalp, on elbows and knees, or rashes in body folds) or dermatitis (itchy areas of dry skin).