It is estimated that about one in six people have athlete's foot, and it tends to keep coming back even after treatment. To keep it at bay, dry your feet properly, and try not to make them sweaty – wear cotton socks and don't keep tight trainers on all day as they make your feet hot and encourage the fungus to grow.
✤ There are different types of athlete's foot, the most common causing white, flaky, sore skin between the toes, which can be satisfying to pick off but you shouldn't (if you can't help yourself, wash your hands afterwards). It can also cause a dry, scaly, reddish rash over the soles of the feet.
✤ You can buy antifungal creams from a chemist but if you are not sure if you have athlete's foot, see your doctor. Most doctors will diagnose the condition by looking at it, but they may scrape off some skin cells for testing.
✤ Antifungal creams (imidazoles such as clotrimazole or econazole) should be applied once a day for at least a week (often more to make sure it has gone) in small amounts. There is no evidence that tea tree oil works.
✤ If you have been using antifungal creams to no avail, then you should see a doctor. Athlete's foot can become infected by bacteria, and can spread to toenails, making them crumbly.