According to WebMD, ringworm of the foot, also referred to as athlete's foot, is a fungal infection that causes itching, burning, peeling and cracking of the feet. The fungus grows in warm environments such as shoes and socks and feeds on the dead tissue of the skin, toenails and hair.
Medline Plus explains that athlete's foot most often affects the skin between the toes. The most common symptoms are cracks on the skin, burning, itching and scales. The fungus thrives on damp surfaces such as locker room floors and showers and can also be found in swimming pools. Wearing dry socks as well as wearing flip-flop sandals in public showers and locker rooms can help prevent the spread of athlete's foot. Keeping the toenails clipped and clean can also help to prevent the spread of the fungus.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the medical term for athlete's foot is tinea pedis. Athlete's foot is commonly found in individuals whose feet tend to sweat heavily while wearing confined shoes. Athlete's foot is related to other fungal infections, including jock itch. Athlete's foot is typically treatable with over-the-counter anti-fungal medications as well as prescription medication, but it is common for the fungus to return.