What Are the Treatments for Peeling Skin?

Peeling Skin
Peeling Skin (Image: "Sandy Toes 7-5-09 -- IMG_8172" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: stevendepolo (Steven Depolo) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

A person's skin can peel for a number of reasons, including sunburn, irritation from household chemicals, cold weather and even chronic skin conditions, i.e. eczema, psoriosis. Typical treatments include topical creams and ointments. Remedies can be medical or homemade. A proper diagnosis by a doctor is usually required if the peeling does not go away after a reasonable period of time.


A doctor's diagnosis is important because some skin peeling may be caused by a serious disease. These diseases can include hypothyroidism (overactive thyroid), Hodgkin's disease (white blood cell disease) and Kawasaki disease (inflammation of blood vessels). Children are prone to Kawasaki disease, which may cause large pieces of skin to peel on the hands and feet. Typical skin peeling treatment is not an adequate remedy for this condition. According to Kidshealth.org, "usually, a child is treated with intravenous doses of gamma globulin (purified antibodies), an ingredient of blood that helps the body fight infection."

Types of Topical Treatments

Over-the-counter skin creams such as Vaseline or Lanolin can help alleviate peeling skin. These creams moisturize the skin before peeling gets worse and spreads. Many of these creams contain antioxidants such as vitamin E, alpha hydroxy acids and certain oils which can alleviate skin peeling. Wrinkle creams can also work well for peeling skin. These ointments and creams work best if a person limits friction to the area by wearing loose clothing. Moisturizing soaps can also alleviate dry and peeling skin.

Types of Exfoliators

In addition to skin creams, exfoliators can be used to get rid of peeling skin more quickly. Exfoliators usually come in a cream. Abrasives such as walnut shells, pumice stones or apricot kernels can help remove dead skin, while oils soothe and moisture healthy skin. This can help keep the peeling from spreading further along skin surfaces (i.e. nose, forearms). Exfoliators usually work best if done gradually over time. Removing skin too rapidly can cause irritation and possible infection.

Benefits of Natural Treatments

Cucumbers are natural moisturizers that can help alleviate peeling skin. Aloe vera plants can also be used to treat skin peeling as can vinegar, olive oil and turmeric. A good diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and meats can also help promote the healing process of peeling skin. These foods contain vitamins such as A, B and C as well as protein and iron which prevent infections and accelerate healing.

Time Frame

There is no set time frame for treating and eliminating skin peeling. People with more severe cases will take longer to heal. Typically, those who take a more proactive approach in treating their skin peeling can get rid of it sooner.

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