It all depends on the condition of the potato. When a potato is covered by dirt and with blemishes, it's sometimes usually not safe to eat. The potato skin can get in the way of eating when it comes flavor of food. Never eat dirty potato skins as there could be hidden bacteria on potato skin as well as the potato itself. Eating a dirty potato could cause a symptom of having diarrhea or other illness. When a potato is covered by dirt and with blemishes, it's best to peel the potato so appearance isn't all messed up. Small potatoes have thin skin and don't need peeling. Of course this depends on the condition of the potato. Some people will say and think, "Why even peel a potato? Just wash it, chop it, and be done! Just wash it and chop it."