Peeling Skin: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Remedies

If you see your skin peel frequently, you should know why it is happening. Here are some takeaways from dermatologist.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Jan 24, 2022Updated at: Jan 24, 2022
Peeling Skin: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Remedies

Does your skin peel during dry or cold season? This is pretty normal with people with extremely dry or sensitive skin that gets triggered with cold winds or dry weather. But some people suffer from peeling skin problem frequently. There is no reason as an underlying disease but it is better to consult a dermatologist and find the root cause of peeling skin. In this article, onlymyhealth spoke to Dr. Nivedita Dadu, Renowned Dermatologist, Founder & Chairman of Dr. Nivedita Dadu's Dermatology Clinic to know more about peeling skin causes, symptoms and remedies for peeling skin.

Talking about symptoms of peeling skin, the most evident sign of skin peeling is blistering on the skin, dryness, burning sensation, itching, inflammation, acute irritation and bleeding, in extreme cases. The symptoms vary depending upon the degree of peeling. Some people experience mild peeling that gets healed on its own. Whereas, peeling on the skin can get worse if the person has sensitive skin.

Causes of skin peeling

The most common cause of skin peeling is windburn. Peeling off of skin is a skin condition which is caused by extreme cold winds, which results in windburn. Surprisingly, your skin reacts to winds in the same manner as it does to the sun. In short, windburn symptoms are nearly same as sunburn symptoms. When your skin heals from windburn, it starts to peel. If you notice burning, red and sore skin, it is due to windburn.

Here are some other probable causes of peeling skin condition:

Causes of skin peeling

  • Exposing the skin to cold winds and other environmental irritants, burns, etc. can cause superficial skin peeling. This kind of peeling skin can heal over time.
  • Washing your skin with extremely warm or hot water daily can also cause peeling. Hot water triggers sensitivity.
  • People who over-exfoliate their skin or do face exfoliation frequently also cause peeling of the skin. If you think removing dead skin cells or scrubbing them daily can make the skin look better, it is not the case.
  • Similarly, not moisturising the skin is also catastrophic. If you do not provide the skin with necessary hydration, it would cause the skin to peel off. 
  • If you have experienced skin allergies in the past, it may be a potential cause of peeling skin syndrome.
  • Other chronic conditions like psoriasis and eczema can also cause skin to peel.

Treatment and Remedies for Peeling Skin

Here are some suggestions by Dr. Nivedita Dadu:

Remedies for Peeling Skin

  • Take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever to treat peeling off skin. These medications work to reduce the inflammation and redness surrounding the sunburn. It  also helps to reduce the pain associated with having a sunburn.
  • Protect the peeling skin from further damage by keeping it covered with clothing or a very thin layer of sunscreen with an SPF of 45 or higher.
  • Take a bath with cold or lukewarm water. This can help ease the pain of the sunburn and stop the skin from peeling further. Avoid showering if the skin is blistered in addition to peeling, as showering may pop the blisters and trigger more peeling.
  • Use a thick cream-based moisturizer when the skin is dry, especially on the hands or face area and use it after every time after washing your face and hands. Gently apply the lotion with the fingertips. Leave the lotion on top of the sunburn instead of rubbing it all the way into the skin. This will maximize moisturizing effects and minimize irritation.
  • Use a humidifier and stick to mild cleansers to avoid dry skin. Even something as simple as wearing gloves during the winter can protect the skin against drying environmental elements.
  • Avoid rubbing the skin with a towel after taking a bath. This can make peeling worse. Instead, pat the skin dry with a towel.

Peeling skin

Lastly, use an ultra-gentle exfoliator which lifts dead skin cells. Use chemical exfoliators like alpha-hydroxy acid or beta-hydroxy acid. Apply light pressure as you move around the skin in circular motions to lift away peeling skin.

Image credits- freepik