Heel Peeling: Why It Happens, How to Treat It, and When to See a Professional

Heel Peeling: Why It Happens, How to Treat It, and When to See a Professional
Published on, 04 June, 2024. Answered by Dr. Anna Chacon and Verified by Dr.Galen Team
Patient Question

Hello Doctor,

I've noticed that my heel is peeling, and I'm not sure why. Could you please help me understand what might be causing this?

Answered by Dr. Anna Chacon

Hello, Thank you for reaching out to Dr. Galen. Please find the below response to your query.

Peeling skin on the heel can manifest due to various underlying factors. One of the most prevalent culprits is dry skin. When the skin lacks sufficient moisture, it tends to become dry and flaky, leading to peeling. Factors such as harsh weather conditions, particularly cold and dry environments, can exacerbate this condition. Additionally, frequent exposure to water, especially if your feet are not adequately dried afterward, can contribute to dryness and subsequent peeling.

Moreover, your choice of footwear plays a crucial role in the health of your feet. Ill-fitting shoes that fail to provide adequate cushioning and support can create friction and pressure points on the heel, leading to irritation and eventually peeling of the skin. Therefore, it's important to ensure that your footwear fits properly and offers sufficient cushioning to prevent such issues.

Another potential cause of peeling skin on the heel is a fungal infection, commonly known as athlete's foot. This condition typically presents with symptoms such as peeling, redness, itching, and sometimes a mild odor. Fungal infections thrive in warm and moist environments, making the feet susceptible, especially if proper hygiene practices are not observed.

Furthermore, certain dermatological conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis, can also manifest with peeling skin on the heels. These conditions involve inflammation and irritation of the skin, leading to various symptoms, including peeling.

To alleviate your symptoms and promote healing, I recommend implementing a few simple measures. Firstly, incorporating a moisturizing cream or ointment into your daily foot care routine can help replenish moisture and prevent further dryness. Apply the moisturizer generously to your heels, particularly after bathing when the skin is most receptive to hydration.

Additionally, prioritize wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. Opt for breathable materials and avoid shoes that constrict or rub against your heels, as this can exacerbate irritation.

While these measures may offer temporary relief, it's crucial to address the underlying cause of your condition for effective long-term management. Therefore, I strongly advise scheduling a virtual appointment for a comprehensive examination and evaluation. By conducting a thorough assessment, we can accurately diagnose the underlying cause and formulate a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Thank you for entrusting me with your concerns, and I look forward to assisting you further in resolving this matter.



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