Bottom of feet

Peeling skin on the bottom of the foot is something that affects nearly everyone at some point, whether it be from a diagnosed medical condition or simply excessive amounts of sweat. Our podiatrist hears this complaint often! Generally, skin peeling on the feet is not something to be concerned about and is taken care of with a pedicure at your local nail salon. However, sometimes a person needs a bit more help. But, you might still be wondering, why is the bottom of my foot peeling?

Signs and Symptoms of Peeling Skin on Feet

Dry, cracked, or peeling skin is common on the bottom of the foot and around the toes. It is often marked by cracked skin, peeling skin around the heels, ball of the foot, or toes, or dry, hard, and rough skin. Soles of feet peeling may be linked to other medical conditions or may simply be the result of too much sweat.

Causes of Peeling Skin

Peeling skin on the feet can be caused by a wide variety of reasons including:

  • Tinea pedis. Also known as athlete’s foot, this common medical condition is caused by a contagious fungal infection commonly affecting the skin in between the toes and bottom of the foot as a result of extremely sweaty feet.
  • Eczema. Medically known as atopic dermatitis, eczema is a disease process that causes an uncomfortable rash on the skin. This condition typically presents in childhood and is extremely common in those with a family history of atopic dermatitis.
  • Sunburn. Prolonged exposure to heat lamps or direct sunlight, which can cause sunburn on the bottom of feet, may result in a red, itchy, painful skin irritation that ultimately leads to peeling skin as it heals.
  • Psoriasis. A chronic inflammatory condition that primarily affects the feet and ankles of a person, resulting in swelling and skin rashes on the feet.
  • Genetics or dehydration. Dry skin may also be the direct result of a genetic condition or dehydration which commonly results in excessively dry skin from a lack of moisture within the body.

At-Home Remedies for Peeling Skin on the Feet

At-home foot care is a great way to keep your feet feeling refreshed and keep the amount of peeling skin you experience to a minimum. Healthy feet can be achieved in many different ways, including:

  • Using a foot file. A foot file is an easy-to-use at-home foot care tool designed to remove dead or peeling skin and calluses. It is often double-sided with a smooth side and a rough side. Experts recommend soaking feet for 20 minutes in warm water then using the rough side of a foot file in a downward motion to remove the dead skin.
  • Moisturize with lotion. Using lotion daily is a great way to keep the skin on your feet moisturized which in turn keeps the skin well-hydrated and less likely to peel.
  • Anti-fungal treatments. Fungal infections, such as Athlete’s foot, require specialized cream or medication to rid the infection. There are many over-the-counter products that can be purchased from the local pharmacy to treat a fungal infection.
  • Let your feet breathe. If you exercise regularly or have particularly sweaty feet, it’s important that you remove your socks and shoes, allowing your feet to breathe and the sweat to dry. Too much moisture on your feet in an enclosed space, such as in socks and shoes, is a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

Dry, cracked, and peeling feet can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for many, but relief is possible! If at-home remedies for peeling skin on the feet aren’t helping, be sure to see your podiatrist in Mesa, AZ.


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