The fungus is mostly transmitted indirectly from person to person. The mechanism of transmission is that the barefoot person loses fungal skin flakes with every step, which can settle on the next barefoot person and subsequently trigger athlete's foot there as well. In the skin of the soles of the feet and especially between the toes, there are ideal warm, moist conditions for the fungus, which favour further multiplication. In the course of this, the symptoms typical of athlete's foot develop.
Due to the transmission through skin flakes, the risk of infection is greatly increased, especially in places where many people walk barefoot. Examples include swimming pools, gymnasiums, sports fields, hotel rooms, saunas, showers or campsites.
Small injuries in the foot area, such as cuts, cracks or abrasions, make it much easier for the fungus to invade the body. The following groups of people are particularly frequently affected by athlete's foot:
- Athletes (due to the high foot moisture in sneakers during sports).
- People who wear tightly fitting shoes for occupational reasons (construction workers, soldiers, sewer workers)
- People in whose environment athlete's foot frequently occurs
- People who suffer from circulatory disorders of the legs
- People with a weak immune system