Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"Why is the skin on my feet peeling?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy is the skin on my feet peeling?


The skin on the balls of my feet and my heels is peeling. It is itchy and I don?t know why this is happening. Do I have a skin condition? Should I just see my regular doctor or go to a dermatologist?


I think that you should go to see your primary care doctor. Peeling skin on the feet is a very common medical problem, and your primary care doctor should be able to handle it! There are two primary causes of this condition. The first is a fungal infection, called athlete's foot. This leads to itching, redness, and cracking of the skin on the bottoms of the feet and between the toes. It can usually be cleared up with good foot and skin hygiene, together with application of an over the counter anti fungal cream. The second likely cause is something called dyshidrotic eczema. In this condition, small blisters form under the skin and the coalesce to lead to itching, peeling spots. The exact cause of dyshidrotic eczema is not entirely understood, but it probably has to do with stress and may also be worsened by changes in the weather. It can be treated with topical steroid creams, although often prescription creams and not over the counter creams are needed to get things totally under control. Start by setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor who will be able to confirm the diagnosis and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.