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08th January 2024

Peeling Feet?: 9 Reasons Why This Can Happen

Dr. Jill Barat, PharmD
Peeling Feet?: 9 Reasons Why This Can Happen

So, you are ready to pull out those strappy sandals for a big night out, but there is just one problem - your feet are dry and peeling.

Dry, peeling feet are common since when you shed skin cells on your feet, they tend to pile up and become thickened, dry layers.

In this article, we will identify some of the most common culprits behind those rough and peeling peds, and help steer you in the right direction to achieve soft, show-off-worthy feet.


1. Athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot is a common foot fungal condition, and in some people, the only symptom is peeling.

Athlete’s foot tends to come along with itching, weeping, and redness as well, so if you have any of these symptoms, you are likely dealing with a fungal infection.

This fungal nuisance tends to creep in when feet are kept in dark, moist, or sweaty situations for too long, so do your best to keep those feet clean and dry to keep athlete’s foot at bay. 

Luckily, this ailment can normally be painlessly treated with medicated athlete’s foot creams over a few weeks.


2. Going barefoot

Going barefoot can put a lot of wear and tear on the bottom of your feet, causing the area to blister, callous, and peel.

The weather can also take a lot out of those peds, with summer bringing prolonged wet conditions or blistering hot sand, and winter drying out and cracking the skin on the bottoms of your feet.


3. Working out a lot

If your new workout regimen is full-on, that is probably awesome for your physique, but your feet may pay the price.

Extended runs in the wrong shoes can cause irritation and blisters on your feet, eventually leading to peeling if not given some TLC after the workout.

Be sure that your footwear is top-notch, that you change those sweaty socks ASAP,  and that you give your feet a rest if they start looking red, raw, blistered, and irritated.


4. Wearing ill-fitting shoes

Repetitive rubbing on the wrong parts of your feet from shoes that don’t fit quite right may cause the area to peel.

Make sure your shoes are not too tight or too loose and avoid synthetic fabrics like plastics that have a harder time comfortably conforming to your feet.


5. Allergic reaction to lotions, cleansers, or materials

Contact dermatitis can happen anywhere you have skin - including your feet.

If you just started a new foot cream or found some cute fluffy socks made out of synthetic materials that your feet don’t seem to be liking, you may be having an allergic reaction from the contact with ingredients or materials.

Contact dermatitis normally presents as a red, itchy rash, that may then dry, scale, and cause the skin to peel.

If you notice a similar rash on your feet, think back to anything new that they came in contact with recently.


6. Dehydration

All parts of your skin need adequate hydration to look its best, and your feet are no exception.

Drink at least 8 cups of 8 ounces of water daily for a general goal, although some may need more water to maintain hydration.

And, if you have chronically dry skin everywhere, be sure not to miss slathering a little lotion on the tops and bottoms of your feet during your post-shower lotion application. 


7. Sun exposure

As far as sunscreen application goes, the feet are probably the most overlooked portion of your body at the beach.

And, while it may seem like your feet sunburn much less easily than the rest of your body, they may still be being damaged from the sun’s UV rays and start cracking and peeling if not properly protected with sunscreen.

Go the extra mile with that sunscreen and make sure your feet get a little UV protection too.


8. Eczema

Eczema is a common skin condition where patches of skin can become, red, itchy, rough, cracked, and inflamed.

Eczema is considered an autoimmune skin condition, and flare-ups can occur anywhere on your body, including your feet.

If you already know that you suffer from eczema, and your feet just recently started becoming rough, cracked, and peeling, you may be dealing with an eczema patch on your feet.


9. Normal skin sloughing

The peeling of your feet could also just be the normal peeling of the built-up dead skin cells that didn’t slough off properly.

If this is the case, you should be able to handle the peeling and dryness by getting regular pedicures where they can safely remove the excess skin, leaving your feet touchably smooth.

PodiVite foot supplement for foot health support

Here at Zen Nutrients, we carry a general foot health supplement formulated by doctors and pharmacists for healthy, happy feet.* PodiVite combines vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts to support inflammation control, healthy blood flow, and general tissue health.* 

Learn more about our foot health supplement, PodiVite, today.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.