Read below about foot peeling, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your foot peeling from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having foot peeling

Take Quiz

Foot Peeling Symptoms

Foot peeling is one of those unsightly ailments that can not only be problematic from a health and wellness perspective, but also for aesthetics. Our skin is subjected to abuse day-in and day-out from a variety of sources. Our outer layer of protection is designed to withstand quite a bit, but sometimes our skin starts to exhibit symptoms of an ailment. ### Symptoms of foot peeling include: ###

Our skin acts as a protective barrier for the body. It keeps water in and helps limit the effects of the outside elements (wind, sun, rain, etc.) and pathogens on the internal components of the body. Feet are often covered by socks and footwear which can limit overexposure to the elements, but the constant use of our feet subject the skin to additional heat and dryness. Understanding the symptoms of foot peeling will help determine a cause and, ultimately, dictate a treatment.

Foot Peeling Causes Overview

Environmental causes:

  • Trauma: Irritation of the skin, particularly if repeated, can lead to foot peeling symptoms. Irritants include everything from ill-fitting footwear to physical activity to chemicals in soaps, detergents, and acids.
  • Environment: Hot, cold, wind, sun, humidity, and dryness can all cause the skin to react by peeling. A sunburn, for example, can lead to excessive dryness that, in turn, results in foot peeling symptoms.
  • Bodily Function: The body naturally sheds skin across the body. Unlike many parts of the body, the foot is prone to skin build-up which results in skin peeling.
  • Fungal: Fungi enjoy the warm, moist areas provided by the body. Athlete's foot is an example of a fungal condition that results in foot peeling.
  • Allergies: Certain substances can cause a skin reaction on the foot which results in foot peeling.

Inflammatory causes:

  • Infection: Bacterial infections can lead to the foot to exhibit peeling.

Systemic disease causes:

  • Hereditary: Some inherited conditions cause foot peeling as a primary symptom. These conditions are likely underdiagnosed because the symptoms are not severe and mimic other skin conditions.
  • Cancer: Whether a byproduct of cancer itself or brought on by the methods used for treatment, foot peeling has been linked to the disease.

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Foot Peeling

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced foot peeling. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)

    Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection of the feet and/or toes. Warm, moist environments and community showering are common causes of this type of infection.

    With treatment, athlete's foot should go away in about 2 weeks. However, it often comes back, especially if the same shower or bathroom are used.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    foot redness, foot/toe itch, foot skin changes, spontaneous foot pain, peeling between the toes
    Symptoms that always occur with athlete's foot (tinea pedis):
    foot redness
    Symptoms that never occur with athlete's foot (tinea pedis):
    toe injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Sunburn

    A sunburn is inflammation (a reaction by your body's immune system) caused by too much UV (ultra-violet) radiation, which is part of the sunshine. While the symptoms eventually go away, the cells of the skin are permanently damaged, and over time, the risk of skin cancer is higher. Further, the damage reduces the skin's ability to repair itself, speeding up the formation of wrinkles and other signs of aging.

    It typically resolves within 3-5 days for mild sunburns, and 7-14 days for blistering episodes

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    painful rash, red rash, itchy rash, warm and red rash, swollen rash
    Symptoms that always occur with sunburn:
    painful rash, red rash
    Symptoms that never occur with sunburn:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Normal Occurrence of Dry Skin

    Dry skin can be caused by overheating during the winter or air conditioning in the summer, the loss of sweat and oil glands as you get older, and overuse of things like soap, antiperspirant, perfumes, and hot baths.

    Days with treatment

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    dry skin
    Symptoms that always occur with normal occurrence of dry skin:
    dry skin
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

    Foot Peeling Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having foot peeling.

    Take Quiz
  4. 4.Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Foot

    Allergic contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes irritated and inflamed following physical contact with an allergen. Common products known to cause allergic dermatitis include plants, metals, soap, fragrance, and cosmetics.

    1-2 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    foot redness, foot/toe itch, scabbed area of the foot
    Symptoms that always occur with allergic contact dermatitis of the foot:
    foot redness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  5. 5.Non - Specific Dermatitis (Skin Inflammation)

    Dermatitis is the inflammation ("-itis") of the skin ("derma" is a layer of the skin). It can be caused by any number of causes, from allergies to infections to autoimmune issues. Dermatitis of Normal Variation (also called, "NOS") means that all of those other causes of your rash have been ruled out. This is very common.

    1-2 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    red rash, itchy rash, painful rash
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific dermatitis (skin inflammation):
    red rash
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  6. 6.Irritant Contact Dermatitis

    Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes red, sore, or inflamed after direct contact with a substance. This condition most often affects skin of the hands, and may occur after repeated and prolonged exposure to substances such as water, detergents (soaps, bleach), solvents (such as gasoline), acids, powders, dust, and soil. The onset of the skin reaction is usually within 48 hours of coming in contact with the substance.

    1-2 days.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    rash with well-defined border, itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, painful rash, red rash
    Symptoms that always occur with irritant contact dermatitis:
    rash with well-defined border
    Symptoms that never occur with irritant contact dermatitis:
    fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

    Eczema is a form of skin inflammation that causes skin to be dry, itchy, red, and irritated.

    This is a long-term, recurring condition but symptoms are manageable with care.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    trouble sleeping, feeling itchy or tingling all over, dry skin, scalp itchiness, flexor surface rash
    Symptoms that never occur with eczema (atopic dermatitis):
    fever
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit

Foot Peeling Treatments and Relief

The vast majority of foot peeling cases can be treated at home. The involvement of a medical professional is necessary when foot peeling is accompanied by other more serious symptoms.

Contact your doctor if any of the following are experienced:

  • Severe pain associated with peeling
  • Peeling that does not subside for two to four weeks
  • Fever
  • Concerns regarding the cause of the peeling

At-home treatments:

  • Warm Water and Scrub: Soaking the affected area in warm water for up to twenty minutes can help soften skin to the point where it can be removed by a gentle scrub.
  • Moisturizer: Repeated applications of lotion to the affect areas can help limit foot peeling symptoms.
  • Hygiene: Keeping feet clean and dry can help prevent fungus. Similarly, wearing clean socks, well-ventilated shoes, and protecting the feet in public areas such as pools will help maintain good overall foot health.
  • Over-the-Counter Medications: Several powders or creams exist to treat athlete's foot and reduce peeling.

Professional treatments:

  • Prescription Medications: Oral antifungal medications or antibiotics may be necessary for more significant causes of foot peeling. Prescribed foot creams are also available.

As with all afflictions, foot peeling should be monitored to ensure it improves instead of getting worse. In most cases, some small steps can be taken to provide effective foot peeling relief.

Foot Peeling Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced foot peeling have also experienced:

    • 16% Foot / Toe Itch
    • 11% Dry Skin
    • 3% Feeling Itchy or Tingling All Over
  • People who have experienced foot peeling were most often matched with:

    • 33% Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis)
    • 33% Sunburn
    • 33% Normal Occurrence of Dry Skin
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having foot peeling

Take Quiz