Athlete's foot (also known as ringworm of the foot, tinea pedum, and moccasin foot) is a common and contagious skin disease that causes itching, scaling, flaking, and sometimes blistering of the affected areas. Its medical name is tinea pedis, a member of the group of diseases or conditions known as tinea, most of which are dermatophytoses (fungal infections of the skin, hair, or nails). Globally, athlete's foot affects about 15% of the population.Tinea pedis is caused by the mold known as Epidermophyton floccosum or molds of the Trichophyton genus of fungi, including T. rubrum, T. mentagrophytes, and T. tonsurans (more common in children). These parasitic fungi are typically transmitted in moist communal areas where people go barefoot, such as around swimming pools or in locker rooms, and require a warm moist environment like the inside of a shoe to incubate. Fungal infection of the foot may be acquired in many ways, such as by walking in an infected locker room, by using an infested bathtub, by sharing a towel used by someone with the disease, by touching the feet with infected fingers (such as after scratching another infected area of the body), or by wearing fungi-contaminated socks or shoes. The fungi may spread to other areas of the body, such as by scratching. The fungi tend to infect areas of skin that are kept warm and moist, such as with insulation (clothes), body heat, and sweat. However, the spread of the infection is not limited to skin. Toe nails become infected with fungi in the same way as the rest of the foot, typically by being trapped with fungi in the warm, dark, moist inside of a shoe.Infection can often be prevented by keeping the feet dry by limiting the use of footwear that enclose the feet, or by remaining barefoot. To treat athlete's foot, it is necessary to prevent its spreading back to the feet by treating the entire infection, wherever it is on the body, until the fungi are dead and the skin has fully healed. There is a wide array of over the counter and prescription topical medications in the form of liquids, sprays, powders, ointments, and creams for killing fungi that have infected the feet or the body in general. For persistent conditions, oral medications are available by prescription.