Peeling Skin of the face can result in feelings of insecurity, and in many cases is also incredibly uncomfortable. Skin conditions that commonly cause the face to peel are eczema and psoriasis. Certain external conditions can also cause the body’s skin to peel more than normal. These situations include fluctuating humidity, hot showers and cold air, which are more common during winter months.
Trying to “cover up” peeling skin might be the first reaction for those who wear makeup. However, makeup can actually aggravate peeling skin and often make it considerably worse. Understandably, it is difficult to be patient while waiting for your skin to improve.
There are a variety of ways to address peeling skin that include medications and home remedies. Medications typically address healing, whereas home remedies are more often preventative. Home remedies and medications can be used in tandem with one another for the greatest benefit. Below are tips to improve this condition.
- It is important to remember that covering up peeling skin with makeup will only exaggerate the problem. And, in most cases, it will not make the peeling any less noticeable.
- Fragrance soaps and cleansers are known to dry out the skin. Opting for a fragrance-free or mild cleaner can be beneficial.
- Products that contain alcohol should be avoided. Deodorant soaps and antibacterial soaps are just a few examples of products that should not be used on the face due to their drying effect.
- Apply moisturizer after cleansing your face to replenish the skin’s moisture and provide favorable effects.
- Rough towels can actually damage your skin. With that being said, use soft towels especially when drying your face.
- You may have heard that hot showers are best because they open the pores. However, hot showers can also dry out your skin. Lukewarm to warm showers are best if you are prone to peeling.
- Scrubbing or rubbing your face can create unnecessary irritation. To preserve the skin’s smooth texture, you should gently wash and then pat your face dry instead of wiping or rubbing.
- Exfoliating your face can help eliminate peeling skin, but only if done the right way. Avoid alpha hydroxy acids, alcohol, or perfume in any products used. Use lukewarm water and a soft washcloth and gently rub to loosen any flaking skin. Never peel your skin, especially when it’s wet.
- Topical anti-inflammatory agents like aloe vera can help your skin heal, especially after a sunburn.
An underlying health condition may be causing your skin to peel. Adjustments to current treatments or simply starting treatment for the underlying cause may be the first step. In addition, a dermatologist may administer a number of medications or treatments for peeling skin. These may include doxycycline, chemical peels, or prescription corticosteroid creams, to name a few.
Causes for Peeling Skin
The most common skin condition that causes skin to peel is simply dry skin. However, there are many other potential causes.
- Sunburn: This is an inflammatory reaction to ultraviolet radiation damage to the skin’s outermost layers. It is the most obvious sign that you may have spent too much time in the sun and that damage to the skin has occurred. Sunburns typically appear red and inflamed. Most of the time, they are also painful. The skin’s common reaction to a sunburn is to peel or flake in order to expose new, fresh skin.
- Medications: Certain medications can cause peeling skin including penicillin, various topical medications, seizure medications, and blood pressure medications.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: This is a common skin condition that produces an itchy rash along with flaky scales. It is commonly known as dandruff or cradle cap. It most commonly appears on the scalp, but can also present on the face.
- Eczema: This is a condition where the skin becomes inflamed, itchy, rough, and sometimes cracked or blistered. These red and brown scaly patches typically present themselves in areas behind the elbows, knees, and neck. However it is not uncommon for eczema to result in facial peeling.
- Psoriasis: This skin disease can be quite painful for the individual. It appears in white, scaly patches that can become red and peel.
- Hypothyroidism: This is a condition in which your thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. In the early stages of hypothyroidism, the person may not even notice the symptoms. Ultimately it can result in fatigue, weight gain, peeling skin, and thinning hair.
- Rosacea: An increase in redness and/or visible blood vessels on your face, may indicate a condition known as Rosacea.
- Allergic Reaction: Often people are not totally aware of their allergies, because the body can develop new sensitivities over time. It is also common to experience a reaction to a new product, like a moisturizer or foundation, resulting in irritated and/or peeling skin.
- Niacin Deficiency and Vitamin A toxicity: These are both nutritional conditions that can lead to peeling skin on the face.
- Peeling Skin Syndrome: This is a rare, inherited skin disorder where the normal skin peeling process is hastened. In this case, the skin becomes red and patchy before peeling.
Peeling skin can be part of the body’s natural process. However, peeling should only be a temporary symptom lasting 7 days or less. If peeling continues beyond this timeline, we recommend a visit to your dermatologist. Other concerning symptoms include fever and chills, nausea, dizziness, confusion, continuous bleeding or oozing yellow fluid. Any of these symptoms in conjunction with peeling skin could be an indication of a more serious condition and should be addressed by a professional.
It is important for people of all ages to perform regular self-checks as well as visit a professional dermatologist regularly. If you notice excessive peeling on the face or just want to come in for an annual checkup, schedule an appointment with Dr. Gurgen in the Villages or Leesburg, Florida.