Why Is My Skin Peeling? Common Reasons Apart from Dryness

Introduction

Have you been experiencing peeling skin? It could be anywhere on your face or various parts of your body. It is super uncomfortable and disconcerting to have peeling skin, and you might get quite alarmed to see that your skin is peeling off. Peeling skin occurs when the topmost layer of the skin flakes off, likely due to an inflammation occurring in the skin. This could be due to a wide variety of reasons, from unknown allergies to topical products, or skin conditions such as eczema. It’s important to know why your skin is peeling and so you can get a medical diagnosis if needed and find out how to treat it. 

 

On the milder rage, peeling skin could be a side effect of dry or dehydrated skin. People with dry skin often lack oil and lipids, not just on their faces but likely all over the body as well. Dry skin is genetic and depends very much on the oil glands in your skin. The skin all over the body might have a dry look, white flakes of dry skin, some form of redness and irritation. It can be especially irritating if it occurs on the face, as putting on makeup can be greatly affected by flaking, dry skin. Dry skin is often the result of a compromised skin moisture barrier. The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis. The epidermis itself has another topmost layer called the stratum corneum. It comprises skin cells, lipids, and natural moisturizing components like amino and fatty acids. It looks very similar to “brick and mortar” that you will see on walls of buildings, skin cells being the “bricks” while lipids (or oils) are the glue, the “mortar” which holds the cells together and also moves moisture between them. One of the skin barrier’s crucial functions is protection. A healthy skin barrier not only protects the skin from external aggressors like UV rays, but it also helps to retain moisture within the skin.

When the skin barrier is damaged, not only can external aggressors penetrate the skin more easily, but the skin will also experience a loss of water and nutrients which can put the moisture levels out of balance. When this balance is compromised, the result is the skin losing its supple look, becoming dull or uneven, feeling tight, and leading to dryness, redness, and irritation. This might lead to peeling and flakiness of the skin. 

However, there are many other reasons why your skin might be peeling. Let’s go into them!

Why is my skin peeling?

 

1. Sunburn

 

We all know that the sun is the biggest enemy of the skin. And we also know that being out under the sun and coming back all red is never a good sign, and that peeling is likely to follow. 

The skin is often very red, sore, and can even feel hot when you touch it. The peeling of the skin will happen as the skin tries to repair its epidermal layer. The skin layer that is burnt is pretty much dead, and the skin barrier will be compromised because of it. The lipids that hold it together have basically been burnt away, causing the skin cells to lose shape and structure, resulting in the skin peeling. If you are experiencing sunburn, which should be quite obvious by just considering if you spent time under the sun, then apply something cooling such as aloe vera to alleviate the pain of a sunburn. If it is more serious such as a darker red tone and really hurts, you might want to see a dermatologist and get some medical-grade products as this means not only are the top layers of your skin damaged, but the burn has reached the deeper layers too. A dermatologist may prescribe some anti-inflammatory painkillers and topical creams to soothe the area. Never pick at your sunburn as this can cause further damage to the skin. 

 

2. Eczema

 

If your peeling skin is also red and itchy, it might be eczema. Eczema is commonly mistaken for dry and sensitive skin when it occurs on the chin and cheeks. Eczema is a chronic skin condition that occurs because the skin barrier is weak and cannot protect itself from irritants.  You can also get it on the hands and other parts of the body. Although it mostly affects children, adults can also get eczema from allergic reactions to things in the surroundings such as soaps, fragrances, makeup products, chlorine in swimming pools, and many other things. If your skin is red and irritated and starts to crust, and you itch a lot, you probably have eczema. Head to a doctor to get medicine and antihistamines to calm the redness down. 

 

3. Psoriasis

 

Psoriasis is a skin condition in which the body begins to attack its own skin cells, causing the skin renewal process to accelerate. Instead of taking the normal 28 days for the shedding of skin cells, the cells shed within 4 days. As this is happening, the old skin cells might not be shedding fast enough as the new ones emerge. This results in silvery, white scales over thick red, raised patches of skin due to the clumping of the new and old skin cells and results in thick, itchy patches, red sores, and scaly skin. There are many different types of psoriasis, but the most common type is plaque psoriasis. The patches of redness and scaliness show up on the knees, elbows, palms, and lower back. It can be genetic and inherited or can also be exacerbated by smoking. You will probably need medical attention to deal with psoriasis, so check with your dermatologist who can prescribe the right topical medication for you.

Conclusion

These are the most common reasons why your skin might be peeling, with sunburn being the most obvious to trace back and treat. There are, of course, many other skin conditions that might be affecting you and have gone undiagnosed for years. If you find your skin condition does not improve with moisturizer, and the skin starts to get more inflamed, red, and look abnormal, it is best to seek medical advice and get it treated. 

These are the most common reasons why your skin might be peeling, with sunburn being the most obvious to trace back and treat. There are, of course, many other skin conditions that might be affecting you and have gone undiagnosed for years. If you find your skin condition does not improve with moisturizer, and the skin starts to get more inflamed, red, and look abnormal, it is best to seek medical advice and get it treated.

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