Most people are aware of the risk of athlete's foot when they walk or shower barefoot in a locker room, but this painful and irritating skin condition isn't solely limited to Olympic swimmers and football players. In fact, you can contract athlete's foot from anywhere warm and damp enough to harbor the fungi behind the disorder, including a few places you probably haven't considered before now. These are four surprisingly common places where cases of athlete's foot are born. 

Pedicure Pools

Most manicure and pedicure salons follow proper sanitation practices to keep their basins clean, but if standards slip for even a day, you may be dipping your toes in the fungal brew of the person who sat down before you. Thankfully, most salon owners are well aware of their sanitary responsibilities and the liabilities they pose, so your best bet is to stick with well-known businesses that have a proven reputation for hygiene. 

Rented Bowling Shoes

Many amateur bowlers don't think twice before slipping on a pair of rented bowling shoes, but you may want to ask for a second splash of anti-fungal spray before you do. Socks are usually enough to deter fungi, but sweat can quickly wick through them to pick up any remaining organisms within the shoe. If you bowl regularly, you can avoid this risk simply by buying your own pair of bowling shoes to bring with you to the alley.  

Your Housemate's Socks

If you have a tendency to swap socks and shoes with a housemate, you may be exposing yourself to athlete's foot and spreading it to your own clothing. Many laundry machines do not create extreme enough conditions to kill fungi, meaning they can even be hiding in clean, freshly sorted laundry. This is more typically seen in young siblings, who may throw on each other's socks without thinking about the potential consequences. 

Your Pet

Believe it or not, even your pet can be host to athlete's foot. Many types of fungi have adapted to attach themselves to dander, meaning the dust on your floor may actually be fungal spores shed by your cat or dog. Thankfully, even in a world seemingly surrounded by athlete's foot, this disorder is relatively easy to clear up with the help of your local dermatologist. If you notice itching, inflammation, blisters, or other common signs of athlete's foot, particularly if you suffer from recurring infections, call a local dermatology clinic such as Dermatology Surgery Center to begin finding the culprit and starting a more aggressive treatment plan today.