Why Are My Feet Peeling?
Let’s face it, there is nothing very appealing about peeling feet. Especially during the spring and summer months, when the last thing you want is rough, dry, cracked, scaly or flaking skin.
Peeling feet can happen to anyone. For some, it is a seasonal problem. In winter, while we are keeping our toes warm in thick socks, our skin is likely to dry out and that includes the soles of our feet. The opposite can happen in summer with too much sun leading to blistering, and again, peeling.
Anytime of the year when we engage in sweaty exercise routines, we run the risk of developing fungal infections from excess perspiration. That is why wearing a pair of good quality, cotton athletic socks—the kind designed to wick away sweat—is always a good idea. The socks work to minimize heat and moisture, which is just the kind of environment where bacteria will thrive. For the same reason, go for shoes made from all (or mostly) natural materials. Plastics can make feet sweat.
Preventing Fungal Infections
- AVOID the urge to scratch or pick! If you do develop a minor case of athlete’s foot, the experts agree that “picking” at your skin, or using some type of scraping implement (like the cheese graters used to scrap calloused feet in some nail salons), is an absolute no-no.
- TREAT your feet right away with over-the-counter antifungal creams or sprays. If your feet continue to peel, you may have an infection that requires a prescription, and it is time to call your doctor. Key here, is that while peeling feet can at first seem like nothing more than a nuisance, ignoring the problem can lead to real trouble, especially if the infection spreads to toenails.
- PREVENT fungal infections in the first place with regular use of a deodorizing shoe spray on athletic footwear. Note: If you are a yoga or floor-mat exercise enthusiast who enjoys working out barefoot in group sessions, bring your own mat and avoid sharing with others.
Stopping Flakiness in its Tracks
Certainly, peeling feet are not always the result of an infection. People with sensitive skin, or chronic skin conditions like Eczema or Psoriasis, can also experience peeling, itching and dry, patchy places on all parts of their bodies. Feet are no exception. Keeping skin properly moisturized—and the body well hydrated—will go a long way toward staving off flakiness in the first place. Those with severe or unexplained peeling may need to consult a dermatologist for recommendations on effective treatments.
For the majority of people, smooth, healthy skin starts simply enough with good foot care routines. Pay attention to your feet, inspect them regularly, and be sure not to overlook them in your self-care regimen. Invest in a pumice stone to gently slough off dead skin in the shower when necessary and do not forget to moisturize your feet, just like the rest of your body, daily!
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