Athlete's Foot is caused by fungi of TRICHOPHYTON group, such as T.rubrum and T.mentagrophytes. These fungi tend to thrive on warm and moist skin. These fungi feed on a skin protein called keratin.
It can spread from person to person through various modes:
- Skin-To-Skin Contact: Touching the eruptions of the infected person is the easiest mode of spread of the disease. Certain sports involving a high degree of contact like football and wrestling are instrumental in transmission of the disease.
- Indirect Contact: Many times, objects used by the infected person serve as potent precipitants of causes of Athlete's Foot. Towels, toys, shoes, clothing, etc. facilitate the spread of Athlete's Foot to other people. Even walking on contaminated floors like swimming pools, gymnasiums can spread the infection.
- Autoinoculation: Scratching, rubbing or bursting the eruptions can cause the infection to spread to adjacent parts of the skin. Autoinoculation is one of the important causes of Athlete's Foot.