How to Treat Peeling Skin on Feet

Feminine beauty treatments legs and feet
Gentle use of a pumice stone can exfoliate the feet. (Image: robertprzybysz/iStock/Getty Images)

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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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

  • Moisturizer

  • Pumice stone

  • Aloe vera lotion

  • Antifungal cream, if needed

Tip

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.

Warning

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.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.