Dermatomycoses are infections of the skin, hair and nails, which are caused in most cases by dermatophytes, and in rarer cases by yeasts and moulds. Fungal infections of the skin are the most frequently occurring infectious diseases, with a worldwide prevalence of 20% to 25% and high and growing relapse rates.
Dermatophytes are divided into anthropophilic, zoophilic and geophilic species, according to their transmission route and main occurrence. Anthropophilic dermatophytes prefer humans as the primary host, therefore transmission from person to person occurs particularly frequently. Around 70% of dermatomycoses in humans are caused by anthropophilic species. Zoophilic dermatophytes are transmitted by close contact particularly with pets. They often cause strong inflammatory reactions in humans. Geophilic dermatophytes cause disease less frequently in humans. Contact with e.g. Nannizzia gypseum can lead to infections on the hands and arms in gardeners or farm workers. Moulds and yeasts often cause opportunistic infections. They benefit from damage to the skin or nail caused by an existing dermatophyte infection.
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