There are several causes of peeling skin on the feet, including dry skin, dead skin buildup, sunburn, fungal infection or other skin conditions. Peeling this skin off manually may risk bleeding and infection, so if you are bothered by peeling skin, it’s best to have an effective and safe management strategy. Most of the time, home management helps, but if you have a skin condition or signs of athlete’s foot, seek a doctor’s advice on treatment.
If your feet are peeling because the skin is very dry, use a moisturizer on your feet twice a day. Ointments and creams tend to be more effective compared to lotions. Apply the product after showering while the skin is still wet, to better lock in moisture.
It’s normal for dead skin cells to slough off on a regular basis, so if you aren’t taking time to scrub your feet, they can get flaky. Use a pumice stone to gently exfoliate this dead skin. Soak your feet first to soften the skin, then gently rub a wet pumice stone in order to remove the dead, flaky skin. After rinsing and drying your feet, apply moisturizer.
Apply aloe vera lotion to your feet if the peeling is caused by sunburn. Aloe vera lotion is sold over the counter and can help soothe the area while also keeping it well moisturized. Avoid exposing your feet to the sun while they are healing.
Athlete’s foot, a fungal infection, can lead to flaking, itching and peeling -- especially between the toes. Antifungal creams, which can be purchased over the counter, can be an effective home remedy. If initial treatment doesn’t work, see your doctor. Also, if you have diabetes or poor circulation, or if you have pain, redness, tenderness, discharge or a fever, see your doctor.
If your skin peeling does not resolve from home treatment, or if you believe it is caused by a skin condition, see your doctor for evaluation and treatment advice.
Things You'll Need
Aloe vera lotion
Antifungal cream, if needed
If your skin is very dry, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends trying a moisturizer that contains lactic acid or urea, as these products help the skin hold more water. However, if you have cracked skin or eczema, these products can cause irritation.
If you suffer from skin eczema, which can cause itching, dryness and peeling of skin anywhere on the body, this may also be the cause of peeling feet. See your doctor for recommendations on treatment.