Remedy for Peeling Skin

Peeling skin is the result of keratolysis, where the top layer of skin (epidermis) separates from the layers below (dermis), often as a result of new skin growth pushing up the dead skin layer. Peeling skin can be produced by damage to the skin layer, such as with a sunburn or excessive exposure to water or heat. The epidermis is normally shed continuously as new skin grows, being completely replaced within four to six weeks. Peeling skin is unsightly but usually harmless because it reflects the body’s natural rejuvenation and repair cycle.

Treatment Approach

Effective treatment for peeling skin is to gently promote the dead layer to be shed. Softer skin can be observed beneath the flaky, white dead skin layer. Pulling dead skin away can irritate undamaged skin near the edges. The body will shed skin when the underlying tissue is completely regenerated. Moisturizers will hydrate the skin layers and provide nutrients for the skin cells to complete their regeneration cycle, as well as relieving itchiness in the dry areas. Special ingredients such as glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy or fruit acid, can be briefly applied to skin to penetrate and provide nutrients and stimulate keratolysis. Effective home remedies follow similar principles of natural topical agents to reduce irritation, gently exfoliate and promote new skin growth.

Home Remedy: Cucumber

Web sites such as Natural Home Remedies and Diet Health Club suggest applying grated cucumber to the affected area for 20 minutes, three times daily. A fresh cool-water rinse will add moisture.

Home Remedy: Mint

At night, extracting the juice from mint leaves and applying it over the area allows the soothing properties of mint and the oils in the leaves to penetrate skin layers overnight. Natural ingredients such as cucumber and mint juice do not contain hard or coarse grains, which may cause irritation from accidental rubbing during the application process.

Home Remedy: Honey and Olive Oil

A mixture of honey and olive oil can be massaged into affected areas for 45 minutes to gently soften and slough dead skin while providing moisture. These natural ingredients soothe irritation and contain nutrients to penetrate into deeper skin layers to promote new skin growth. Lukewarm or cool water will clear away the mixture.


To continue to treat peeling skin and newly exposed skin, continue applying a moisturizer for sensitive skin and apply sunblock to protect the new skin layers from further irritation or damage. If sunburn caused the damaged layer of skin to peel, the underlying skin may be different in color from surrounding skin because it may lack pigment (melanin). Tanned skin will eventually fade over time as the epidermis containing pigmented cells is shed. Moisturizers will promote new skin growth and repair. In addition to topical treatment, proper nutrition and water intake, along with nutritional supplements, will maintain the body’s normal function and support cell repair. If further peeling or blistering occurs despite gentle cleansers, moisturizers and sun protection, seek medical advice to rule out any abnormalities (such as skin cancer).

Peeling skin is the result of keratolysis