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Is it Dry skin or is it fungal?

By February 22, 2024No Comments

Dry, flaky and chalky skin is a problem we see on the feet daily. When we see feet that present with dry skin we typically are looking at one of two things or sometimes both. It will either Xerosis (dry skin) or tinea pedis (a fungal infection). There are many other skin conditions but we want to focus on the two most likely.

Let’s start with Xerosis. This an extremely common condition that we see in clinic. It can range from a mild condition to a more severe/painful problem where the skin fissures. We are more prone to dry skin on the feet due reduce number of sebaceous glands, which are responsible for the production of sebum – this in simple terms helps moisturizes the skin. There are also other factors such as bathing habits, illness, skin disease or even drug therapy that may cause this. According to a study1 in Germany approximately 29% of working age adults have dry skin but is more common in older age groups.

The presence of xerosis can lead to the development of other conditions such as eczema. This is way we routine advised patients to moisturise their feet. Just think what happens when people don’t routinely brush their teeth?

As mentioned earlier the other condition it could be is tinea pedis. Tinea pedis is the medically name for a fungal infection of the skin on the feet AKA athletes foot. Tinea pedis is widely considered to be the most mist diagnosed podiatric conditions. This is primarily because it presents with a similar appearance to that of Xerosis. Fungal infections are so prevalent on the feet owing to the fact that are feet spend most of the day in conditions most suited to allow fungi to grow, that is dark, damp and warm.

Both of these conditions are generally easily treated at home. Your podiatrist at House of Podiatry can help provide expert advice on the best way for you to treat either problem.