In 80% of cases, dry of cracked skin of the heel is a result of fungal infection. If application of cosmetic creams does not alleviate the condition within a few days, it may be assumed that the cause is fungal.
Dry, scaly skin is one of he results of the disease known as foot mycosis, and is in fact the least serious. Other effects are: blisters, unpleasant odors, redness, and especially itching (mild to severe), especially between the 4th and 5th toes (the smaller toes, squashed into the shoe). In extreme cases, especially if neglected, suppurating wounds may develop.

How are foot fungi produced?
Fungal disease is the most widespread disease in the world. In Israel we may be particularly aware of this problem because so many people wear sandals, and their feet are exposed to view.
Foot fungi arise like mushrooms after rain. Excess humidity and wetness are the chief causes of fungal infections, produced when various organisms 'settle' on the skin. Closed shoes are an ideal breeding – ground for growing fungi, because they provide a perfect situation for their development.
Foot mycosis appears to be an infectious disease in every way, and is spread especially in public places where the feet are exposed, such as swimming pools, dressing rooms, locker-rooms, mikve, and so on. If it is not treated properly, it may spread to other parts of the body, and in extreme cases give rise to serious skin disease known as erysipelas, that may in severe cases even end in death.

Symptoms
Itching between the toes (especially the 4th and 5th)
Redness of skin – caused mainly by scratching
Dry, scaly skin with or without cracks.
Wounds, suppurating wounds, 'watery' rash
Blistery spots on the foot.

The nails may thicken, and change in colour and texture – they may even seem 'eroded' or become floury and disintegrate.
Nail mycosis – fungus affecting mainly the toes, although the infection may spread to finger nails. It causes yellowing of the nails.
Foot mycosis – common mycosis, appearing between the 3rd and 4th or the 4th and 5th toes. It causes wetness, redness and scaliness of the skin.
It left untreated, the mycosis can spread to the skin of the whole foot and the toenails.

How can the problem be prevented?
Choose socks made of natural materials, such as cotton, that spread the sweat, in preference to socks made of synthetic materials.
Wear leather – soled shoes or sandals.
Do not wear someone else's shoes, and of course, do not buy used shoes.
At the swimming pool, in locker rooms and public showers, you should wear slip-ons or sandals – never walk barefoot.
When undergoing any pedicural treatment, make sure the instruments have been sterilized between treatments. Wash feet daily.
Dry feet thoroughly after washing
Always use your own tower for your feet – even within the family.
Wash down the shower after use.
Whenever any cosmetic cream is applied to the feet, such as Atractine, make sure it has been fully absorbed.
Vestiges of cream between the toes constitute an ideal damp breeding ground for the development of fungi.

Treatment
Skin mycosis
There are many preparations – personal advice should be obtained.

Nail mycosis
The podiatrist will file away the thickened part of the mail.
Anti – mycotic liquids
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