Peeling skin, especially when it is on your face can be frustrating, embarrassing and even painful. It can make applying and keeping on make-up very difficult. Peeling skin is also one of the common problems members of the mySkin community seek help for. In this article we cover some of the causes for peeling skin and treatment options.
When skin isn’t well hydrated, skin cells do not stick together as well and they start to flake off. If you have extremely dry skin and are peeling, treat skin with moisturizer multiple times per day. Also take a look at your regimen. Make sure you are using a gentle cleanser that does not strip natural oils and a moisturizing cream made for dry skin. Those with dry skin should avoid using an alcohol-based toner. Consider incorporating a moisturizing serum to add an extra boost. You can try limiting time in the shower and only washing your face/body with lukewarm water. Pat dry and apply dry skin moisturizer within 5 minutes to help retain as much moisture in the skin as possible.
One of the most common reasons for peeling skin is sunburn. Ultraviolet rays from the sun kill off skin cells. The dead cells are sloughed off (in the form of peeling) so that new skin cells can replace them. The best way to heal peeling from a burn is to use cooling, water-based lotions or aloe. Stay away from heavy moisturizers, which can retain heat and make you feel uncomfortable. The best way to prevent sunburn is to use SPF 30 on a daily basis and protect skin from the direct sun with a hat and protective clothing.
Chemical peel or laser treatment
If you have recently undergone a professional chemical peel or laser treatment, one of the side effects is peeling skin. You should apply moisturizer or ointment to the area multiple times throughout the day ensuring you follow your doctor’s instructions. If peeling lasts for more than 2 weeks, consult with your doctor.
Over use or oversensitivity to retin-A or other topical medications
If you are using multiple retinoid products or combining retin-A with other acne treatments, it could be making the dry skin/peeling worse (link) You may want to discontinue use of the product or at least pull back on the number of days per week you are using it. To address the peeling, use a damp washcloth to gently buff away dead skin cells and use a gentle moisturizer. If you are undergoing treatment for acne, it is still critical that you use a moisturizer to maintain balanced skin and avoid peeling.