Talk:Athlete's foot

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Opening comment[edit]

Who dicovered Athlete's Foot?

Dr. Zachariah Athlete, a physician of Philadelphia, in 1832.
Ummmm... cute. The "athlete" in the term "athlete's foot" was coined by WF Young (manufacturers of Absorbine liniments) in the 1930s for an advertising campaign. There's a mention of it on their history page at Student Driver 01:40, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Urine therapy[edit]

This part is nonsense:

...The existence of prescription creams such as Vanamide® which are indicated for dry or rough skin and consist of up to 40% urea supports this claim...

This information only suggests that urea has the effect of sofening the skin, it isn't proof that this is it's only effect. Palefire 02:41, Jun 16, 2005 (UTC)

It's still nonsense, since it refers now to "bacteria" after the entire article has established that athlete's foot is fungal in nature. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:17, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Anecdotal evidence[edit]

Anecdotal insert - I have found that athlete's foot can be completely cured by making sure that the area between the toes is totally dry before putting on socks and shoes. This would suggest that sufferers may try this for a short period before resorting to the more esoteric methods mentioned above. posted by 21:30 6 Sept 2005 UTC

This is not just anecdotal, this is well documented. These fungi thrive on moist environments, and this is exactly what people should do to try and get rid of it. If the above is not already in the article, it should be.

Between 3rd and 4th and between 4th and 5th Toes[edit]

It is a noticeable fact and mentioned in some texts that it often happens only between the 3rd and 4th and between the 4th and 5th toes. --User:Roland Longbow 00:46, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

But you need to be able to tell us (cite) which texts say this - might not it occur only in 1st or 2nd web space - one needs to cite source for it being more common in the lateral foot. David Ruben Talk 02:12, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Not every bit of information is accompanied with references. I read it in some medical dictionary and saw it is the case for many people. It may occur elsewhere, but it is much more often to occur only between the 3rd and 4th and between 4th and 5th toes. This may sound odd, though, but you may want to observe for yourself. And I think this is a noteworthy feature of tinea pedis.--Roland 02:51, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Policy is quite clear, it is the responsibility of an editor wishing to add information to be able to cite from a reliable source to verify the information. If citation can't be found then information, even if true, should not & can not be added :-) David Ruben Talk 03:37, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
I am indeed confused. Then where is the reference for, for instance, the first sentence of the entry? And I don't see a single reference in the sections Causes, Growth Environment, Symptoms, Symptoms, Treatment. --Roland 05:31, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
A lot of this article was written before policy was so clear and enforced. What you're observing just means the article needs to be cleaned up. --Neurophyre(talk) 08:54, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Also note that Wikipedia is NOT the place to simply hold information that cannot be found elsewhere or is not cited... chances are... its a myth or misguided information. Every sentence MUST BE referenced, that is, hold some credible source as direct proof that is a true statement. Otherwise, it doesn't belong. Colonel Marksman 13:58, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
I have athlete's foot between my 2nd and 3rd toe right now, so that theory is faulty. Bummer! :) Mazakar 19:22, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

found the journal references, so you wikinazis can take a chill. Repliedthemockturtle 22:02, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Image is confusing.[edit]

It may be me, but I can make neither heads nor tails of the leading image. What on earth is happening there? It seems to defy several laws of anatomy. If there are any other images, I think they should replace the current one. GenericGabriel 04:39, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Upper left edge of image are the tips of fingers pulling back on a toe to show the web space. View is looking down the length of the toe (heading to centre of image) to the web space. To the upper-right is the adjacent toe. David Ruben Talk 12:20, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
Reading this explanation, I still can't make heads or tails (fingers or toes?) of this image. The way it's cropped leaves no context, and the image is worthless for identification and illustrative purposes. The one in the symptoms section is clear, and should be the leading image. -- AvatarMN 18:51, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

That picture should really be removed, as it's more confusing than helping. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:42, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

I removed image. I hate to do that. With 30 seconds of editing, the image would be fine. But I lack rights to do that. I see the fingers, I see what seems to be two or three other toes. The toe being held seems to be stuck on the bottom of the sole of the foot. Totally confusing. To the editors: please do NOT explain why it is not confusing. Either fix it or its better gone. I think trimming the photo to remove confusing elements might work. Also the puncture wound has NO place in the photograph. (talk) 10:23, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Therapy instructions seem a bit confusing[edit]

Personal prevention measures

   * Try to limit the amount that your feet sweat by wearing open-toed shoes when possible and by removing your shoes when at home.

"It is recommended to wear open sandals, or even better, walking barefoot as much as possible."

This seems a bit confusing to me, as walkin with bare feet *at home* will spread the spores. Both walking barefeeted and using a hairdryer are practices explicitly disadvised in the German language version of the article at

Wonderful helpful article, needs citations, not changes[edit]

The writing and practical suggestions are great, helpful, practical, exactly what someone suspecting athlete's foot or wanting treatment would want to see. Footnotes (no pun?) would help, but please don't destroy the value that is here.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:24, 29 December 2007

If policy prevents Wikipedia editing by public to function, then policy needs re-examination[edit]

A study shows us anonymous writers and editors add great stuff all the time. If we make a mistake, correct our mistake, please (or let other anon editors do so). But please don't take valuable information available nowhere else down simply for lacking a citation. To do so defeats the ability of, for instance, clinicians or other personal experts to contribute based on clinical experience. Letting the truth emerge from a marketplace of ideas is the genius brilliantly capitalized on by Wikipedia. Wikipedia fulfills its mission via a policy to add footnotes where available, not one requiring unexamined deletion of valuable content.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:30, 29 December 2007

Wikipedia is not meant to be a "marketplace of ideas", but rather perhaps a marketplace where anyone can add suitable content to an encyclopedia, this is not a blog for any and every idea, especially if only imperfectly "based on clinical experience". As an encyclopaedia, whilst wikipedia reflects and helps distribute current knowledge, it does not try to advance the knowledge itself nor make assessments on current thinking. As policy therefore all material added must be that which can be WP:Cited from WP:Reliable sources in order to WP:Verify and the responsibility to cite sources lies with the editor (registered or unregistered) who adds it. As WP:Cite observes "All material that is challenged or likely to be challenged needs a source." So "information available nowhere else" presumably can not be sourced from anywhere (let alone a reliable one) to verify ?
Now I would agree that where information is commonly held to be believed, then other editors should help with improving topics by adding additional (or missing) refs where possible and not therefore revert on-sight, but if information is not generally felt to be credible and accepted by either majority or significant minority opinions, then it may be removed under WP:NPOV. So while it is policy WP:Please do not bite the newcomers, wikipedia as well as giving freedom to add material also allows editing or deletion of items, as the "Please note" shown at the bottom of every editing page states, "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly ..., do not submit it."
So having pointed out some policies, what "valuable information" do you feel is being taken down ?David Ruben Talk —Preceding comment was added at 01:13, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Clearly we also need to take out the bit about using a hair-drier to dry your feet thoroughly, because this basic fact of physics has no citation! -- (talk) 07:53, 11 August 2008 (UTC)


my baby has this condition-what can be done to prevent this from happening again once it's healed by clotromizole? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:20, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

antifungal soap[edit]

I removed this subsection which was obviously an ad for "gymsoap". There is no clinical evidence that some soaps are better than others in treating athlete's foot. This section had referenced the mayo clinic's page on tea tree oil, but that page did not back up the claims, merely staing "Human studies have focused on the use of topical tea tree oil for fungal infections (including fungal infections of the nails and athlete's foot), acne, and vaginal infections. However, there is a lack of definitive available evidence for the use of tea tree oil in any of these conditions, and further study is warranted." -- Repliedthemockturtle (talk) 02:19, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Vicks Vaporub[edit]

I cannot find even anecdotal evidence for using Vaporub on Athlete's Foot. Its cousin, a nail fungus, yes. But nothing on AF. This seems to be someone's personal agenda. There is not even a BAD source cited. It reads as OR only. I don't see why it wasn't killed when it was added. Rather than kill it, I am going to clean it down to "There has been a claim that..." and flag it for a source. sinneed (talk) 05:16, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

I really rather you wouldn't immediately ascribe it to "someone's personal agenda." I recently returned from my podiatrist having received precisely this advice - not only for my nail fungus, but also for some local Athlete's Foot. Now, I'm not going to change the article based on such anecdotal information, but I think it tends to disprove your assertion that someone's mere personal agenda motivated the original edit. Apparently the effect is the same for both: it softens the skin (and protein-buildups on the nail), making the area less hospitable for fungus. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 03:49, 16 December 2009 (UTC).

As an addendum, Vicks contains Thymol. Even the most cursory read of the Wikipedia entry on Thymol would likely illustrate why the original poster wasn't operating under some 'personal agenda' in writing it. Again, that doesn't justify changing the Athlete's Foot entry to reflect the Vicks claim. But I think it justifies greater hesitation in imputing some ulterior motive to the original posters inclusion... (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 03:57, 16 December 2009 (UTC).

Medical advice[edit]

The "prevention" and "treatment" sections of this article get very close to providing medical advice, and per WP:NOTGUIDE this section should be modified somewhat to sound more like an encyclopedia and less like a health brochure.

That information can be provided by the external links to sites that do provide that kind of information. I've trimmed the links heavily since many of them had WP:ELNO problems (i.e. some were just ads). I've trimmed it down to two which I feel are good resources, but ones that are helpful can be added back and these can be taken away if there are better choices, but as a rule of thumb there probably shouldn't be more than four or five external links total. SDY (talk) 02:20, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Why use ten dollar foot cream when you can just blow your feet with a hair dryer. Athletes foot dies in dry skin. That combined with extreme heat which kills bacteria is perfect advice. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Asfd777 (talkcontribs) 13:52, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Not really. It's theory is sound, but you'll be killing just as many bacteria as killing your feet's skin cells! The bacteria lives between the skin, thus it'll be protected by the outer layer, and get cooling from the deeper layers of the skin... Just suggesting, however it's a nice idea to see if the hairdryer treatment works! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Rename to Tinea Pedis[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was No consensus to move. Parsecboy (talk) 16:12, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Per WP:MEDMOS#Naming conventions, for medical topics the "article title should be the scientific or recognised medical name rather than the lay term (common, unscientific, and/or slang name) or a historical eponym that has been superseded. These alternative names may be specified in the lead. Create redirects to the article to help those searching with alternative names". Further, an international standard such as The World Health Organisation International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD 10) should be sought.

ICD10 B35.3 gives as main term "Tinea pedis" with alternatives of "Athlete's foot", "Dermatophytosis of foot" or "Foot ringworm"

Hence just as we have Myocardial infarction rather than common lay term of heart attack (which is a redirect), so this article should be renamed. David Ruben Talk 00:10, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Support - per medical naming conventions. ƒingersonRoids 00:35, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. As the specific naming convention says, with diseases we go with the internationally recognised name. This is one of the few exceptions to the more general preference for common names. Andrewa (talk) 02:44, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - as per nom. kilbad (talk) 03:32, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per WP:NAME the name should be based on what is recognized/used by general audience. Athlete's foot has several times the number of google hits and (except for the possessive) several times the search volume. "tinea pedis" - 181,000 hits; "athlete's foot" 717,000 hits; "athletes foot", "tinea pedis" Zodon (talk) 08:10, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Googling is not necessarily a good means of deciding here (else all drug articles would be named for their main US brand). PubMed listing of some 5,200 biomedical journals gives: 122 hits for "Athlete's foot" with a large overlap 149 for "Athlete's feet", but 1395 for "Tinea pedis". (Other ICD10 options of "foot ringworm" 2hits, "Dermatophytosis of foot" with 1446 & "foot dermatophytosis" with 1835 are not helpful here as they also include hits for nail infection of onychomycosis). David Ruben Talk 19:20, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose - WP:COMMONNAME overrules WP:MEDMOS naming conventions. Almost everyone has heard of "Athlete's foot", hardly anyone outside the medical profession will refer to it as "Tinea pedis". —Cyclonenim | Chat  10:39, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Honestly, I don't have any strong feelings on this issue; so, whatever the community ultimately decides is fine with me. However, even if people have not heard of "Tinea pedis", a simple redirect from "Athlete's foot" will direct them to it the correct article. Due to redirects, accessibility to this information will not be reduced if the article is titled "Tinea pedis." Additionally, the term "Athlete's foot" does not always mean "Tinea pedis," but "Tinea pedis" may always be referred to as "Athlete's foot;" therefore, it seems the title that appropriately encompasses the scope and contents of the article is "Tinea pedis." ---kilbad (talk) 14:41, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Redirect doesn't handle everything - for instance, in navigation templates and see also links it is usual to use the article name, rather than overriding it with a pipe. So using a name that is widely recognized may make it easier for readers to find the article.
What is the difference between Tinea pedis and Athlete's foot? (i.e. when is Athlete's foot not tinea pedis?) Are they different enough to warrant separate articles? If this article is narrowed to just Tinea pedis, where should material covering Athlete's foot go? Zodon (talk) 15:43, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Conditional oppose If, as the article now reads, these are equivalent terms, we should use the common name. We need be no stuffier than the Lancet: a remedy for ‘athlete's foot’ (tinea interdigitalis), Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:03, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Interesting additonal term I've not seen before of "tinea interdigitalis" - PubMed search of which gets 131 hits from range international publications spanning its abstracting time frame of the 1950's to just last last year. Whilst that term makes sense (the latin translates as "tinea"-fungal infection "inter"-between "digital"-toes or fingers), I don't think most doctors would restrict themselves in usage of athlete's foot to just this area, rather than also acceptable over a wider area of the sole (hence tinea pedis is more widely used in the literature even though mild cases do indeed tend to be limited to just the web spaces.) David Ruben Talk 19:43, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
      • Probably dated; it's one of the OED's citations, from (18 July) 1942. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:03, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
        • There are actually multiple patterns or types of tinea pedis, with interdigital and moccasin patterns being two of them. kilbad (talk) 07:45, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose I think it's far more reasonable to keep the article with the current name (which is the most common for the subject in English) with Tinea pedis redirecting here, than the other way around. Húsönd 11:01, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Conditional oppose, per PMA's comment, but I don't really have a strong opinion either way. As long as both names are prominent in the lead, I don't see how it makes a big difference. SDY (talk) 19:06, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Risk Factors[edit]

Text added under Risk Factors earlier today:

While athlete's foot can be transmitted through person to person contact, there are several reasons that put you at higher risk for contracting athlete's foot. Such risk factors include:

1) you are a male 2) you find yourself constantly wearing damp socks (due to water or sweat)or tight shoes 3) you share rugs, bed linens, clothes or shoes with someone who has been infected with athlete's foot 4)you have a weak immune system

5) you constantly are in places that transmit athlete's foot easily such as locker rooms, saunas, public pools, showers and restrooms [1]
I believe these points are already covered under transmission and prevention sections, and they are therefore superfluous. Any problem removing? --Transity (talkcontribs) 21:02, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
The reasons behind all of those points are much better explained in the article. Men have a higher instance precisely because they are more prone to taking up sports that encourage the use of sweaty unsanitary footwear and then taking them off in a communal environment. All that would happen if you added your points would be the removal of the reasons these things occur. Hadashi (talk) 19:54, 24 October 2012 (UTC)


The alternative name for Athlete's Foot has been changed to "tiny penis." I have changed it back to the original "Tinea Pedis." dddd — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:16, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Sigh. We should try and get that page perma-blocked. Hadashi (talk) 19:55, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Walk barefoot advice?[edit]

This article literally recommends walking barefoot as a way to prevent and cure athlete's foot. While I don't doubt that this is effective, the vast majority of people on this earth have to wear shoes. Telling them to walk barefoot just sounds silly when they would normally just get some cream for a minor medical condition like this. Like if someone told me to eat tree bark to cure my headache, when I can just take Tylenol. Sorry if this seems judgmental or something, but the article literally reads like some kind of advertisement for "barefoot cultures" whatever that means. Just my 2 cents (talk) 03:39, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

You can always walk barefoot at home; or take a week vacation, and go to the beach, walking barefoot in the sand! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:25, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Deodorant treatment[edit]

If dryness is really all it takes for the fungus to disappear, then any 'under-arm' deodorant, based on talcum-powder, or Aluminum Zirconium tetrachlorohydrex, will do! I currently am on a test treatment, after the foot fungus spread from toe to feet, and clearly the 'duct tape' treatment didn't help (certain fungi need air to grow, in this case, the duct tape irritated the skin, and should have caused anti-body growth fighting the fungi, but it didn't work, and just the opposite happened, namely faster growth of the fungi). So I am currently on a Dove Cleartone anti-respirant treatment(the only deodorant I have based on powder like Talcum). Report back with the results! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:24, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

WebMD conflicts with this article[edit]

WebMD has an article that mentions that contrary to popular wisdom "Natural fibers like cotton or wool are better choices than synthetic fibers, because they soak moisture away from your feet." I'm not sure really how to go about integrating that into the article, or even if it should be, but I thought I'd bring it up. Zell Faze (talk) 14:45, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

The company called "The Athlete's Foot Australia"[edit]

There's a company also called Athlete's Foot. Do you think they wouldn't like that ugly picture of a foot, which is bad for them from a PR perspective? I mean, people will associate their brand with a scaling yellow foot :/ (talk) 11:30, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

If they're gonna call their company "The Athlete's Foot", what do they expect? Actually they probably don't mind. No doubt the name is intended to be a pun. Axl ¤ [Talk] 13:18, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

acidity therapy?[edit]

is it true that these fungi die in low pH environments? The alleged (a character in Good Morning, Vietnam says so) treatment of urinating on the feet to prevent is based on that concept, as is a home remedy of soaking the feet in diluted vinegar. (talk) 16:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Mayo Clinic Staff (2008). "Athlete's Foot". DS00317.