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Peeling Skin On Your Feet… What Does It Mean?

Why is peeling skin on the feet a thing? Here are some ways to rid of those cracked heels!

As we move into the summer months here in the northern hemisphere, we might be starting to feel a little self-conscious about the state of our feet, particularly if they’re peeling.

We spend so much time stood on our feet it’s no wonder the skin is going to be harder and tougher down there, but the constant pounding and walking our tootsies take can also lead to the skin cracking and scaling.

While it’s tempting to get down to it yourself with a foot file, too much aggressive intervention can make matters worse or even cause infection!

Your first point of call should always be your doctor, if you suspect infection which can be identified via excessive peeling, redness or soreness, itchiness, dryness, or pain.

But, if you’re curious about what you can do to prevent the peel, there are several reasons to consider when it comes to working out the cause of your flaking feet…

You’re sunburnt

Don’t forget to SPF your feet when going out in the summer months, particularly if you’re heading to a beach or dipping your toes in the pool. An easy area of the body to forget to cover, but even if you do, the sand and water will compromise the first layer of protective lotion no matter how waterproof it claims to be. Reapplication is a must once you’ve dried off to prevent that sunburn peel happening on your feet.

If it’s too late and your toots are feeling the UV burn, soak them in lukewarm water mixed with epsom salts, and once properly dried off lather them in aloe gel and/or coconut oil consecutively.

You’re dehydrated

As well as contributing to dry hair, poor skin and breakouts, feeling lethargic and lowering your metabolism, a lack of water can cause the skin on your feet to peel. Water is essential for a healthy body and aesthetic, so make sure you’re drinking around 2 litres of H20 a day.

Your showers are too hot

The skin on our feet is typically drier than other areas of our body because of the work it has to do to protect your feet. Because of this though, it’s more vulnerable to harsh external factors and therefore easily irritated.

If you love to indulge in a hot shower or scolding bath, it may be time to turn down the heat so not to dry out your skin further. Make sure you’re using a natural, fragrance-free moisturiser, especially right after you wash.

You smoke

Smoking reduces the blood circulation in your body. As well as all the other problems that smoking can cause you, if your blood isn’t managing to get nutrients around the body efficiently, your hair and skin’s appearance is going to suffer… That includes the skin on your feet.

Smoking can also turn your feet yellow and blue because of the lack of oxygen getting to the ends of your limbs. Seek out a health professional on advice and support for quitting.

You’re stressed

If you suffer from a condition like eczema or psoriasis, where the skin dries and/or scales not just from the feet, the symptoms can be exasperated by stress.

Work out what the stressor is and work on your self-care to help reduce the severity of symptoms. Great stress relievers are sleep, exercise, yoga, deep breathing, talking therapy, reducing your caffeine, and meditating. Read up on the benefits of meditation here.

Your shoes are too tight

Snug footwear causes friction. That’s how you get blisters, and we all know that they lead to peeling skin. Try to stick to natural materials when it comes to footwear and only wear shoes when you have to.

It’s worth noting that as we age, our feet can change size and width, so go and get measured if your shoes are proving uncomfortable – your feet might have grown/shrunk! Weight gain or loss can contribute to shoe tightness too.

Been through the menopause? Check in with your foot size again because the hormonal changes can contribute to lower bone density.

New shoes? Try blasting each new shoe with the hairdryer for a minute so the material becomes a touch warm and soft, then wear thicker socks and walk the shoe around the house until the material’s cooled again. This should help mould the shoes to your foot shape and prevent any squeezing of toes or heels, preventing friction and thus blisters and peeling. Ta-da!

You’re sweaty

Excess perspiration, damp, moist environments, and sharing mats in the gym or studio can all contribute to bacteria build up and infection. One of the symptoms of a bacterial or fungal infection is peeling skin.

When exercising in shoes, wear cotton socks to help wick away excess moisture. When you’ve finished up, make sure you shower immediately and if you suspect an infection, see your doctor for the appropriate treatment.

You’re naturally prone to it

Our body needs to shed skin. It’s a natural process of cell regeneration and some body’s simply have a quicker cycle than others. Why not invest in a pumice stone to gently rub on your feet whilst you bathe to help get the dead skin cells to fall?

Including your feet in your self-care routine will make them look and feel better regardless of the reason behind the peel in the first place. Try Cel’s Nail Serum to better your nail health too. Whilst promoting growth and strength, it helps maintain nail hydration so it’s a great way of ensuring tip-top toots when it comes to your overall foot care regime!



Sarah Milton


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