Peeling Skin

Peeling Skin

Top tips on how you can prevent peeling skin.

What are the causes of peeling skin?

Peeling skin can be caused by several things:

Sun Exposure – You can get peeling skin anywhere on the body if you have been exposed to UV light for a prolonged period of time, often causing soreness and redness if you are overexposed to the sun. The top layer of skin becomes damaged causing dead skin cells to start flaking off to make way for new skin but this also leaves your skin exposed and vulnerable to more damage.

Skin Reactions – Peeling skin can be due to a reaction to a chemical present in the soap, detergent, or shampoo that you use. The irritation of your skin due to this can also cause it to become red or itchy.

Skin conditions - Psoriasis is a condition where your skin cells try to rapidly replace themselves but in an extremely short amount of time, usually 3 – 7 days rather than 3 – 4 weeks. Thus, the skin constantly sheds, leaving it sensitive and sore. 

Sometimes peeling skin is specific to your feet or hands.

Peeling skin

Peeling Skin On Hands:

  • Over-washing – This can dehydrate your skin as it strips the skin of it's natural hydrating oils, particularly if you're using hot water, using an electric dryer, harsh soaps or using coarse towels. This is guaranteed to lead to peeling skin on hands if you're not replacing moisture lost with a lotion or moisturiser afterwards.
  • Dry Climates – Climates that tend to be quite dry can leave your hands cracked, with the dehydrated skin peeling as a result
  • Burns - if you burn yourself while cooking dinner it's likely that your skin may peel because of this, as this damages the outer layers of the skin which then tries to recover it peels off when the skin underneath is ready.
  • Chemicals – Exposing your skin to strong, harmful cleaning products without gloves can leave your hands dry and sensitive and if exposed for a long period of time can cause your peeling skin on hands due to corrosive substances present in the product.

Peeling skin

Peeling skin on feet:

  • Footwear – In warmer weather conditions when you're wearing shoes, peeling skin on feet can occur due to friction and an increase in the amount of sweat you're producing which causes your skin to chafe. This is particularly common if you’re active or you're wearing heels a lot as they often rub on your skin much more than other types of shoes causing peeling skin on feet.
  • Dehydration – much like everywhere else on your body, if you're not hydrated then neither are your feet and this can be a major cause of skin peeling on feet that people tend to ignore.
  • It's Normal - feet go through a lot day in day out so it's natural for skin peeling on feet as to get rid of any dead skin residing there. That's not to say you should ignore peeling skin on feet if it persists, you may have a treatable problem in which case you should seek a doctors advice.

Things to help treat your peeling skin

Generally, keeping your skin hydrated and moisturised will help to reduce and/or prevent the peeling, but here are some useful tips:
Peeling skin

  • Exfoliate: If you have peeling skin you should use a pumice stone if you have peeling skin on feet as the skin here is much tougher than the rest of the body and it will be most effective. If you have peeling skin on hands or your body try using an exfoliating glove or an exfoliating wash while in the shower as this gently removes dead skin.
  • When Handling Chemicals: It’s recommended that you use gloves to prevent your skin from becoming exposed to the substances present and this also helps to protect against peeling skin.
  • During Sun Exposure: We recommend that you use high SPF sun cream to protect your skin from UVA and UVB radiation that can penetrate the layers of your skin, causing premature ageing and damage. Try the NIVEA Protect & Moisture Lotion SPF 50+, or the NIVEA UV Face Q10 Anti-Age & Anti-Pigment SPF 50 for the best protection against the sun. It’s best to avoid the sun when it's at its strongest from 11am to 3pm, so try your best to stay in the shade during this time. If it’s unavoidable, invest in a wide brim hat to cover your face and wear suitable clothing that provides you with an external shield against the sun’s rays. To soothe your skin after sun exposure, using after sun is effective in replenishing water loss in your skin and with our formulas enhanced by Aloe Vera, your skin is instantly cooled and hydrated. Try the NIVEA Moisturising After Sun Lotion.

Peeling skin

  • If Over-Washing: Try to cut back and only wash when necessary and make sure to moisturise your face, hands and body after washing and to use lukewarm water rather than hot water to wash as hot water can dry out your skin. Perhaps switching to a more moisturising hand or body wash can also help to alleviate any symptoms of dry skin; try our NIVEA Rich Moisture Soft Hand Wash.
  • In Dry Climates: moisturising your skin regularly is extremely important as it combats the dry air to create a protective barrier for your skin while hydrating it for long periods of time. This is particularly effective if you moisturise directly after showering to lock in moisture.
  • For Skin Reactions: Avoid contact with strong substances or body washes or soaps that are fragranced as this could be the cause of your peeling skin. Preservatives can also do this. If you have symptoms you think could be related to an allergy you should seek medical advice.
  • For Skin Conditions: Keeping your skin moisturised is especially important and we recommend using moisturisers that are non-fragranced with soothing properties such as Aloe Vera. It's best to check with your doctor before using any kind of new product on your skin if this is the case.