Not Medical Advice: Athlete’s foot (also known as tinea pedis) can live an indefinite period of time, as the fungi that cause athlete's foot thrive in warm, moist areas.
Exposure to this infection is increased by poor hygiene, occlusive footwear (closed-up shoes), prolonged moist skin and minor skin or nail injuries. Fungi reproduce by creating spores and these spores can stay dormant in shoes, socks, bath mats and floors and, even if the surface is cleaned, they can stay viable and infect people at a later stage.
Athlete’s foot is caused by a group of fungi which are called dermatophytes which are parasitic (they feed off other organisms to survive). Ideal conditions for dermatophytes to grow are a warm, dark and humid environment such as the feet. It can also spread to other parts of the body, such as heels and palms, even on underarms, that’s if the person scratches the feet and then touch those body parts.
It is very contagious and can be spread through direct (skin-to-skin contact) and indirect contact (passed on through contaminated objects such as towels, bed sheets and clothing).
Of interest, women wear flip-flops for both their casual attire and with formal wear, however while the popular footwear provides basic protection against hot pavement and catching athlete’s foot, flip-flops offer nothing in the way of foot support. Find out more at Kansas.com.