Peeling Skin Causes and Treatment


Peeling skin has many causes but is easy to treat. Here are the top treatments for peeling skin.

Do you see flakes of skin fluttering down when you take your clothes off at night? Is your nose peeling, or are your legs rough and itchy? Relax, your peeling skin doesn’t mean you’re molting! In most instances, peeling skin is caused by sunburn, dryness, or irritation — and it’s not serious. Here’s what might be causing your skin to peel and how to treat it:

  • Sunburnor overexposure to the sun. The UV rays can damage skin until it literally peels off. Take a cool shower, apply white vinegar to the peeling area, and use cold compresses to relieve pain. Then treat your sensitive, sunburned skin with aloe and moisturizing lotion until healed.
  • Eczema, a common rash, can make the skin peel and itch. Treat it with an over-the-counter cortisone cream twice daily and avoid scratching.
  • Psoriasis, another fairly common skin condition, leaves skin flaky, peeling, and often white. Intense moisturizers can help smooth rough spots and stop skin from peeling.

Often peeling skin is caused simply by dryness. You can treat this easily with a few home remedies and special behaviors:

  • Stop picking! You may hate how your peeling skin looks — but the more you pick, the more you peel.
  • Don’t scratch it. Scratching may feel good for a moment, but it intensifies the peeling and itching and can cause an infection.
  • Trim it, don’t tear it. If some peeled skin is hanging off, get out the scissors and snip it. Don’t pull at the skin; simply cut the edge of the dangling area.
  • Moisturize…a lot. Choose an unscented, intense moisturizing lotion, balm, or cream and apply as many times as the package instructions allow.
  • Feel your oats. Take an oatmeal bath to relieve itching and smooth peeling skin. (But not in hot water, which depletes the skin of its natural oils.) Or take a cool shower and wash with baby oil. A fabulous moisturizer, baby oil might stop your skin from peeling in the first place.
  • Eat better. Increase your protein intake with protein shakes, lean meats and fish, and eggs. Stick to a diet rich in iron and vitamins A, B, and C, as these can significantly improve your skin in about a month. Find iron in beans, peas, fortified cereals and dark leafy greens, and get your vitamins A, B, and C from citrus fruits.
  • Raid the fridge. Kitchen staples can come in handy when it comes to peeling skin. Try these home remedies:
    • Grate a cucumber and apply the pulp to peeling skin regularly, as this acts as a natural moisturizer. Throw olive oil, honey, and turmeric into a blender to make a paste, then spread on peeling skin every day.
    • Massage honey on the affected area and leave on for 45 minutes before rinsing.

If none of these remedies work, consult your doctor, but in most cases, peeling skin is caused by a simple lack of moisture and can be treated easily at home.