If you’ve ever had a moderate to severe sunburn, you know the feeling of having dry, flaky, peeling skin as it heals from the over-exposure to UV rays. However, there are many reasons why your skin may be peeling besides sun exposure, and if it’s happening without any obvious cause, it can be annoying and upsetting. Here’s what you need to know to help your skin heal and stop peeling as quickly as possible.
Why Does Skin Peel?
Skin typically peels as part of the healing process when it has been damaged or reacts against a topical substance. Sometimes, it’s an outward sign of an underlying condition, which is why if your skin peeling doesn’t resolve on its own, or presents itself with other changes to your health such as fever, vomiting, vision changes, or difficulty breathing, it may be best to get medical attention.
The leading causes of skin peeling include:
- Irritation, chafing, or rubbing
- Chemical or thermal burns
- Strong acne treatments
- Chemical peels
- Contact dermatitis
- Viral infections (mono, measles)
Peeling skin can appear on its own or with other skin changes such as redness, pain, and inflammation.
How to Get Rid of Peeling Skin
Depending on the underlying condition that’s causing your peeling skin, you can try adjusting your skincare routine to help re-hydrate and heal your skin to help it stop peeling. However, when it’s caused by a health issue like those mentioned above, you should see a doctor to treat those causes medically before moving on to the symptom of peeling skin.
Here are steps you can take to help your skin heal after it’s started peeling.
Pat Skin Dry After Bathing
Rubbing vigorously may be your unconscious habit when drying off after a shower or bath, but this could be causing unnecessary abrasion and irritation that damages your skin, causing it to peel. It can also overly dry the skin out after being cleansed during bathing when you don’t apply lotion quickly after getting dry.
The moisture in your skin doesn’t come out of thin air – it’s taken from your body, which is mostly water itself. Staying hydrated by drinking enough water each day is good for both your skin and overall health.
The most general solution to dry skin is to moisturize it with a quality, non-comedogenic moisturizer. People with sensitive skin can benefit even more with a high-quality moisturizer like our Soothe Dermal Repair Balm.
Use a Gentle Exfoliant Occasionally
When your skin is flaking and peeling, it can help to speed the process along with a gentle exfoliant as long as the skin is not also tender and irritated, like after a sunburn. However, take care to exfoliate a peeling area as gently as possible and don’t exfoliate every day. Usually a weekly exfoliation is all you need to get back your smooth texture as quickly as possible.
Add a Humidifier
Some areas of the country and certain homes are just drier than others, which can cause your skin to dehydrate and peel by default. Introduce moisture into your living spaces with a humidifier if you suspect the dry air is to blame for your peeling skin.
Protect Skin From the Sun
Important for not only preventing premature skin aging, sun exposure is the cause of many skin conditions, including peeling skin. The best practice for people looking to get smooth, beautiful skin is to always wear sunscreen when venturing outside, as regular unprotected exposure to harmful UV rays damages your skin cells whether you notice it in the moment or not.
Professional-Grade Products For Your Best Skin Ever
Dealing with persistent or embarrassing skin conditions requires the best formulas from professionals who have the pharmaceutical experience to choose quality ingredients that provide more benefits than the sum of their parts. If you want to take your skincare to the next level, Epicuren Discovery is a great place to start. Browse our complete collection of potent skincare products or take our Skin Quiz to be matched with products that are right for your specific skin type and concerns.