Fungi are transmitted through close contact, such as touching someone or sharing personal items. Fungi are most likely to spread in public showers, pools and locker rooms and can travel in the warmth and humidity provided by shoes and socks.
Fungi reproduce by spreading spores in the area, accounting for how infections begin in the lungs or on the skin. Few fungi can be passed from person to person.
Fungi are usually harmless, but some germs can cause infections. While these infections are rarely serious and do not often penetrate below the skin, they can be persistent. In healthy people, fungal infections do not progress to the internal organs, but adults and children with compromised immune systems are less able to resist the fungus. People with foreign devices in their bodies may also find themselves at greater risk. Antibiotics can also contribute to the development of a fungal infection.
To treat a fungal infection, doctors usually prescribe an antifungal ointment, shampoo or cream. An oral medication is sometimes prescribed. However, by keeping the feet, groin and skin clean and dry as much as possible and wearing shoes in public bathing areas, it is possible to avoid coming into contact with common fungal infections such as athlete's foot, jock itch, candida, pityriasis versicolor and tinea.