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Old 05-31-2014, 11:42 AM
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Why Is the Skin Peeling Off the Bottom of My Feet?

This just started up this year, and I can't figure out why, though on a certain level I'm tempted to file it under "getting older, weird stuff happens."

It initially started around the callus on my heels. At first I thought it was related to going from a lot of sandal-wearing in the summer to more shoe wearing in the fall and winter. The callus got dry, somewhat flaky, and pieces peeled off.

But it didn't stop.

I have pieces of dead skin peeling off from the ends of my toes to the back of my heels, including the softer, arch parts that don't have a callus build up.

Now, it's not constant. There is no sign of irritation. No pain (unless I start picking at it and peel away something not loose, which I'm trying very hard to not do). No funky odor. The skin underneath is not as horny/callus-y, but it appears to be healthy, intact skin. It is not as tough as callused skin, but I'm careful about not going barefoot outside or where I might step on something harmful so it's not been a problem. After a week or two a peeled spot toughens up and seems entirely normal for weeks or months until it happens again.

Basically, nothing unhealthy seems to be going on, I just have thick bits of skin peel off, almost like what happens after a sunburn but a bit thicker. Last night I had a couple pieces the size of a quarter peel off the bottom of my right foot. I trimmed the ragged bits and everything looks pretty normal this morning.

The only other thing going on is that I seem to have drier skin this year than ever before. So... instead of being ashy my feet just peel?

Anyone else ever have this? What the heck is going on here?
Old 05-31-2014, 11:55 AM
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This happened to me for years. It was strange looking and occasionally painful, when strips would go especially deep as they came off.

At some point it stopped, and I don't know why. I have always worn sandals in the summer and shoes with socks in the winter. The amount of walking I do has varied widely throughout.

The only guess I can make about what was different--since I'm not entirely sure when it stopped--is that four years ago I started to take prenatal vitamins regularly, and have been taking them consistently since. I think that the peeling stopped around the same time. Not entirely sure though.

But yeah, it has happened to me.

Edited to add: oh, I also began to have pedicures regularly at that time. I wonder if the extra skin comes off during those, now, instead of peeling. It's possible.

Last edited by Sattua; 05-31-2014 at 11:56 AM.
Old 05-31-2014, 11:58 AM
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Happens to me. Pretty much since I hit middle age. I have to get a pedicure every couple of months or so just to get all the dead, rough skin off. Fortunately that's only about 10 bucks American over here.
Old 05-31-2014, 12:34 PM
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Probably a fungus in the athlete's foot family (not everyone gets itchy/ouchy/smelly from that), although if you are diabetic, it's possible that it's an effect of diabetic neuropathy.

Athlete's foot will often resolve even without treatment as your body kills the fungus, and then reinfect when you pick the fungus up again, from the floor, a towel, an old shoe...
Old 05-31-2014, 01:07 PM
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Four people in this thread. Three in the general radius of Chicagoland. One in... Bangkok.

Just thought I'd note that.
Old 05-31-2014, 02:40 PM
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my guess is you are right about the getting older thing. feet get uglier and require more upkeep just when it gets harder to reach them.

I have found two ways to preview what might be coming up (with feet in this case but it could be anything)

look at the products out there for stuff you haven't got yet: any "health & beauty" aisle has a foot section and there all kind of things to file off dead skin in all it's various shapes.

another way is to watch MASH. at some point Col Potter will complain about some age related issue that back when it was originally aired I didn't really get. recently I hear him remark he had to go file down the calluses on his feet so he didn't stand at an angle.
Old 05-31-2014, 03:00 PM
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This happens to me about once a year over my whole body. I then feel a craving to swallow an asphyxiated rabbit whole. My doctor says that this is an annual thing with lawyers.

On a more serious note, get thee to thine doctor.
Old 05-31-2014, 03:09 PM
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Why is the skin peeling off the bottom of your feet?
Because it can?
Old 05-31-2014, 06:34 PM
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Mayo says there are a lot of possible causes:
http://mayoclinic.org/symptoms/p...s/sym-20050672

I would first try the over the counter medications for athletes foot; if those don't work go to a doctor.
Old 05-31-2014, 06:41 PM
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A couple of decades ago, the skin peeled off of the bottom of my feet after I had an exceptionally high fever.
Old 05-31-2014, 06:46 PM
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I had a similar problem that troubled me for a long time. I could hardly walk sometimes. I went to the doc, who said I had psoriasis AND athlete's foot! He suggested treating the athlete's foot only because he thought the psoriasis would probably abate sufficiently when the athlete's foot stopped messing everything up. And that's exactly what happened.

So go to the doc. There could be a very easy solution.
Old 05-31-2014, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
A couple of decades ago, the skin peeled off of the bottom of my feet after I had an exceptionally high fever.
I'd guess you had hand-foot-mouth disease. My daughter caught it at daycare two years ago, and I got it from her. I had a day of fever, then a poison ivy-like rash all over my hands and feet. Then the skin peeled off of them and several nails fell off. Fun times.
Old 05-31-2014, 11:09 PM
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Almost assuredly a brand of non-irritating athlete's foot. I made a post just like this on the dope a few years ago, everyone chimed in "it's athlete's foot, even if it isn't itchy or painful" and sure enough, a week or two of Tinactin, and it was gone.

Oddly enough, it's kind of back again. I need to treat it again.
Old 05-31-2014, 11:23 PM
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Echoing WhyNot and drewtwo99. I dealt with a fungus that behaved like this for several months a couple of years ago. I don't remember when was the last time I had it, or have any idea why it stopped. But it did usually respond temporarily to OTC anti-fungal preparations.
Old 05-31-2014, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
Probably a fungus in the athlete's foot family (not everyone gets itchy/ouchy/smelly from that), although if you are diabetic, it's possible that it's an effect of diabetic neuropathy.
Not at all diabetic. Checked yearly for that and no sign of it so far.

Quote:
Athlete's foot will often resolve even without treatment as your body kills the fungus, and then reinfect when you pick the fungus up again, from the floor, a towel, an old shoe...
Huh.

Last time I went to the doc he said there was no reason to think it was a foot fungus and, since it had been awhile since the last peeling episode there really wasn't much to see. Then again, docs aren't perfect and if my system is managing to wipe it out in between reinfections...

Any other reason my feet might be doing this?
Old 05-31-2014, 11:44 PM
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It's not always athlete's foot but rather sometimes just age. I've tried various treatments, and nothing works very well. Maybe it's the climate over here since the skin-cracking cream market seems to be a thriving one. About due for another pedicure this month.
Old 06-01-2014, 02:25 AM
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If it's the classic tinea pedis, there are usually very small bubbles along the edges of the callus and in between the toes. Some people don't tolerate synthetic footbeds....

My heels crack and peel. I'm pretty sure I don't have a fungus, either, but I use one of the 20% urea creams and the extra dead skin just rolls off. (The first time I did this I didn't realize what all the effect would be and put it on as a sort of foot night cream. Whooo. I think it's menopause, but that's the nail this hammer usually is pounding
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