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Causes of Facial Skin Peeling and How to Overcome Them

Facial skin peeling is a normal process that occurs in the body's response to remove dead skin layers. However, this process is sometimes followed by other symptoms such as rashes, itching, and dryness, which can be caused by several things such as skin irritation, sun exposure, infection, or allergies.

Skin peeling does not only occur on facial skin, but can also occur on the skin of other body parts, such as hands, feet, around the nails, or other body areas. What makes facial skin peel? How to handle it? Let's look at the following explanation.

Causes of facial skin peeling

Here are some causes of facial skin peeling:

1. Sunburn

Frequent exposure to sunlight can make facial skin peel. Before you peel, the phase you will experience is redness and pain and heat when touched. Usually, this happens about a few hours after exposure to sunlight. A few days later, the damaged layer of skin will peel off and the skin will begin to heal by itself. This exfoliation may make skin color uneven and look like it has a pattern.

2. Dry skin

For those of you who have dry skin types, you are at high risk of experiencing facial skin peeling, especially if you are constantly in contact with water, soap or cream that contains irritating substances, hot water, very hot and cold weather, and sunlight. The aging process can also make skin dry.

Having dry skin is actually not dangerous, but there is also dry skin caused by serious disorders, such as ichthyosis. ichthyosis is a skin disorder caused by hereditary factors.

Read Also : Know your skin type and how to take care here

3. Allergy

Some people often experience allergies. When facial skin comes in contact with allergens, the skin can react. Not only exfoliation, but the reaction may also cause itching, rashes or blisters.

4. Drug side effects

Some drugs such as retinoid creams, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) apparently can make facial skin peel. Retinoid creams are commonly used to treat acne, reduce wrinkles, and brighten brown spots on the skin. This cream works by encouraging skin cells to die and regenerate. As a result, the top layer of facial skin peels off to open the way for new skin cells to grow. In addition, the side effects of chemotherapy drugs, drug allergies such as antibiotics, epilepsy drugs, and certain blood pressure-lowering drugs can also make the skin peel.

5. Atopic dermatitis (eczema)

This condition is chronic (long term) and tends to recur frequently. The cause of eczema cannot be known with certainty, but it is often associated with dry skin, weather, immune system disorders, Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, and genetic factors.

Until now there is no cure for atopic dermatitis. However, there are treatments that can prevent skin from peeling and relieve itching.

Read Also : 4 Symptoms and Causes of Skin Cancer You Need to Know

How to deal with skin peeling

Overcoming facial skin peeling must be adjusted to the cause. But in general, skin peeling can be treated in the following ways:

  • Compress the skin with cold water.

Dampen a clean cloth with cold water until it is saturated. Squeeze the cloth so that water doesn't drip much. Place the cloth over the peeling skin area. Avoid rubbing hard. Leave the cloth on the skin for five to 10 minutes to cool the skin. Afterward, rinse the cloth with cold water and compress it again as needed.

  • Drink lots of water.

When in the sun, you will be easily dehydrated. Make sure you drink enough water. If you feel a headache, these symptoms can be a sign that you need to drink more water.

  • Routinely applying moisturizer, especially after bathing.

Look for a moisturizing cream that can deal with dry skin and peeling on your face. Choose a moisturizing cream with a thick texture with higher water content so that it is truly able to hydrate your facial skin.

Avoid products that contain alcohol, which will lead to dry skin. Instead, make sure that the moisturizing cream you use contains hyaluronic acid, ceramide, aloe vera, shea butter, urea, oatmeal, and squalene.

  • Do not scratch the facial skin peeling.

Avoid the temptation to scratch or tear the skin off. Scratching can worsen the condition and can cause infection. Use a small pair of scissors to trim neatly the dead skin that hung down, don't pull it out forcefully. Begin to apply a moisturizing lotion that contains mild alpha hydroxy acid to speed up the cell turnover process and remove any remaining exfoliation.

  • Avoid exposure to substances or chemicals that can irritate the skin. Replace facial soap with soft soap that is safe for the skin.

In addition to the simple treatments above, you can do additional treatment if you experience exfoliation caused by facial diseases or certain conditions that you experience. Among them:

  • How to deal with facial skin peeling due to allergies is taking antihistamine drugs. This drug can ease the reactions caused by allergies.
  • If you suffer from eczema, you should consult a doctor. The doctor may prescribe a cream containing corticosteroids, tacrolimus or pimecrolimus. Your doctor may also recommend therapies such as light therapy.
  • Exfoliation due to the effects of drugs can be overcome by stopping its use. But if you are undergoing chemotherapy, you should consult a doctor to get further treatment.
  • To overcome facial skin peeling from genetic diseases, it is better to immediately consult a doctor to get the right treatment.

During facial skin peeling, you are advised to avoid things that can worsen skin conditions, such as exposure to sunlight, soap, creams, lotions and cosmetics that contain irritating ingredients, hot water, and extreme weather conditions such as extreme heat or cold.



  1. Mayo Clinic (2018). Symptoms. Peeling skin.
  2. Roth, E. Healthline (2018). Exfoliative Dermatitis.
  3. Stöppler, M. MedicineNet (2017). Peeling Skin: Symptoms & Signs.

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Health and clinical interests include all aspects of infectious diseases

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