What Causes Skin to Peel on Your Palms?

Your hands perform multiple tasks on a daily basis, such as writing, driving, cooking, bathing, eating and picking up items. Your hands are one of the first things people notice about you, so peeling skin on your palms may become embarrassing and even make it difficult to perform certain tasks. Depending on the cause of peeling skin on your palms, you may need to seek medical attention to cure your skin.

Man's palm (Image: leonardo sandon/iStock/Getty Images)


Medline Plus states that there are three degrees of burns, ranging from first-degree to third-degree. First-degree burns are the least severe of the three, which often cause redness, pain and swelling. Second-degree burns affect the surface layer of skin and the skin just beneath the surface, often resulting in blisters, pain, redness and swelling. Third-degree burns are the most severe, affecting the deepest layer of skin tissue, which may cause either whitened or blackened skin discoloration and may also feel numb. Burns can occur from a variety of factors from dry or wet heat such as the sun or steam, friction, radiation, electricity and chemicals. Burns often cause skin peeling and redness, and you may experience itching as your skin begins to heal. Medline Plus warns that you should never apply a lotion, cream or ointment to a severe burn. If your burn is severe, seek medical help immediately.

Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot typically affects your feet, particularly the area around your toes and the soles of your feet. Athlete’s foot is extremely itchy and can cause pain when your skin becomes inflamed. Athlete’s foot can spread to your hands when you scratch the infection and other parts of your body, such as your underarms and groin area. Athlete’s foot is caused by moisture, whether it is sweat or water. Your skin absorbs the moisture, trapping it deep beneath the surface of your skin which creates a fungus. Athlete’s foot is contagious. Kids Health advises wearing shoes in pools, public shower rooms and other public areas to prevent infection. Your doctor can diagnose athlete’s foot by examining the infected area or by testing a scraping of skin taken from the area. Over-the-counter anti-fungal creams can treat athlete’s foot or your doctor can prescribe a cream medication to apply to the affected areas.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions can cause your skin to peel, according to the Mayo Clinic. It is wise to avoid touching items that you are allergic to, such as pets if you have a dander allergy, or certain lotions, creams or perfumes that can cause an allergic reaction. Certain dyes may also cause allergic reactions.

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