How to prevent and treat dark elbows and knees

Dark elbows and knees lower our self-esteem and bring unevenness in skin tone. Prevent skin darkening by following the precautionary measures listed in this article. Also, follow the regular skincare measures such as cleansing and exfoliating to naturally lighten elbows and knees.


Many of us have dark coloured skin on our elbows and knees when compared with the rest of the body. Some of us overlook the problem of uneven skin tone. Others get frustrated with it and even try to cover dark elbows and knees by wearing full sleeves tops and pants. Thus, it also affects self-esteem. The darkening can occur in anyone, irrespective of skin colour. However, it more commonly affects individuals with dark skin tone. The reason is that they have more melanin pigment in them. Thus, dark knees and elbows become more prominent. In case of dark elbows and knees, dead skin cells accumulate in those areas and make skin rough, dry and dark. There is no point in becoming conscious and hiding dark elbows and knees underneath clothes. It is because they can be treated easily. Natural remedies to get rid of dark elbows and knees aid in lightening the skin colour. Follow the below-mentioned tips to prevent and cure dark elbows and knees easily at home.

Causes of dark elbows and knees

Oil glands are absent in these areas. If not taken care early skin dryness takes place which results in darkening. Skin becomes dark, dry and rough. Below-mentioned is the list of causes that result in darkening of elbows and knees.

  • Presence of a large amount of melanin pigment,
  • Accumulation of dead skin cells,
  • Too much friction with clothes,
  • Too much exposure to sun,
  • Leaning and pressurizing elbows,
  • Absence of oil glands,
  • Presence of thick skin,
  • Skin dryness,
  • Age spots,Accumulation of dirt,
  • Poor hygiene,
  • Hereditary factor,
  • Freckles,
  • Psoriasis and eczema,
  • Hormonal imbalance,
  • Obesity,
  • Drugs such as birth control pills,
  • Hyperpigmentation,
  • Skin inflammation due to recent trauma,
  • Too frequent use of hair removal creams,
  • Environmental stress,
  • Addison's syndrome,
  • Melasma due to pregnancy

Tips to prevent dark elbows and knees

Though dark elbows and knees is a common problem, it does not mean that everyone has to suffer from it. By adopting below-mentioned measures, one can prevent elbows and knees from turning dry and dark.

  • Most of us have the habit of sitting on elbows. Avoid leaning on elbows and knees to prevent pressure on these areas. Too much pressure can darken the skin in these areas. Decreased blood circulation causes skin darkening.
  • While heading out in the sun, make sure to apply SPF incorporated broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion on the affected areas to prevent darkening.
  • While stepping out in the sun especially at peak hours, cover elbows and knees by wearing full-sleeves tops and pants or carry an umbrella.
  • Wear clothes which are made of natural fibres such as cotton. Avoid synthetic fibres as they irritate and damage skin leading it to darken.
  • Maintain adequate body weight. Do not bulk up. If overweight or obese, try losing that extra weight to prevent darkening of the skin of elbows and knees.
  • Hydrate the body so that it remains free of toxins. For that, fulfil body's daily water requirement.
  • Follow a healthy balanced diet. Eat foods which are rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids as they are essential for skin health.
  • Keep elbows and knees clean and dirt free. Even before going to bed, wash them properly. Use only mild soaps. Avoid the soaps which come with harsh chemicals.
  • Avoid swimming in chlorine water to prevent darkening of elbows and knees. At least try to cut down the swimming time if cannot be avoided completely.
  • Every day rub a potato or cucumber slice for 5-10 minutes on elbows and knees before showering to prevent skin darkening.
  • Gently and regularly exfoliate elbows and knees to prevent the accumulation of dead, flaky skin cells in the areas. Use a homemade scrub, loofah, washcloth or pumice stone for scrubbing.
  • Do not scrub the area if there is the presence of an open wound. If done, the area will get infected. There are high chances that bruised skin may turn dark in colour. Thus, let the wound or bruise heal before carrying out any exfoliation in the area.
  • Avoid hot water showers. Also, cut down on bathing time to prevent stripping of natural oils from the skin. Keep showering time-limited to 5-10 minutes. Do not bathe with too hot water. Cold or lukewarm water baths are recommended.
  • Gently massage the areas with a good moisturizing lotion, coconut oil or vaseline before going to bed. These products will get absorbed during the night and make skin smooth and well hydrated. Wrap these areas with frictionless clothes or socks.
  • Skin cleansers, scrubs and moisturizers should be free from dyes and fragrances to prevent skin irritation which can otherwise make skin dry and red. Always choose mild products which are fragrance and dye-free.
  • Treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis at the earliest as they may be responsible for darkening elbows and knees.
  • Heat and skin dryness are closely related to each other. Too much heat can dehydrate the skin and make it dry and dark. Thus, even during winter months do not increase the room temperature too much.
  • Too harsh wind and dryness in the air should also be prevented. Thus, cover elbows and knees with protective clothing if the wind is harsh. Use a humidifier to keep indoor air moist.

Effective ways to naturally lighten elbows and knees

Follow these simple daily skincare practices such as cleansing, exfoliating, massaging to slowly and gradually heal the damaged skin of elbows and knees. By taking care of these areas, dead, flaky skin will show visual improvement in health. Coarse skin will improve in texture and turn smooth. It, in turn, will bring back skin health and lighten the skin tone in the affected areas.

  1. Keep elbows and knees clean
    Dirt, improper hygiene and pollution are responsible for skin darkening. Ensure the elbows and knees are clean. Wash them with a soap or cleanser. Do not use a chemical-based one. It should be mild and gentle on the skin. Harsh chemicals can further darken the skin. Thus, avoid them. Purchase a soap or cleanser that is meant for dry skin. Moisturizing soaps help in naturally lighten elbows and knees. They do not leave skin dry instead, turn them soft and supple after cleansing due to the presence of heavy moisturizing cream in them. Cleansing should be done not only while taking showers. Even before heading to bed, make sure to clean these areas to get rid of all the dirt and germs from them.
  2. Prevent the build-up of dead skin cells
    Accumulation of dead skin cells in elbows and knees is one of the top causes of skin darkening. Regularly get rid of dead skin cells from the creases by scrubbing them. While in the shower, use a loofah to gently exfoliate. Alternatively, a washcloth can also serve the purpose. Pumice stone helps a lot. Use it in a circular motion. However, do it gently as too much pressure and friction can worsen the condition. If done harshly, it may hinder the process of production of natural oil which in turn will trigger extra skin cells production. Consequently, instead of lightening, the skin will get more darkened. Thus, limit scrubbing to once or twice a week. A homemade scrub also helps in lighten elbows and knees naturally. Prepare a scrub by mixing one part oil with two parts of sugar. Exfoliate using this scrub. Sugar granules help in getting rid of dead skin cells easily. Any oil can be used for the purpose such as coconut, olive or almond.
  3. Hydrate the skin
    Skin needs to remain well hydrated, and this can be done by generously applying a good moisturizing lotion on it. Likewise, to treat dark elbows and knees, never leave them uncovered. They need to be always covered with a heavy-duty moisturizer which is free from dye and fragrance. Immediately apply it after coming from showers or after washing or scrubbing them. Moisturizers prevent them from getting coarse and dark. Applying moisturizer while skin is still wet after showering enables better absorption of the ingredients. Also, never go to bed without moisturizing these areas. While we sleep, moisturizer keeps hydrating skin. After applying it on the skin, cover it with a sock or protective covering which will liquefy the moisturizer by retaining body heat. It, in turn, will aid in better absorption of ingredients. Also, instead of buying moisturizer from stores, one can use simple ingredients such as shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil. All of these ingredients have excellent moisturizing abilities and thus, naturally, lighten elbows and knees.
  4. Use sunscreen lotions
    Harmful sun rays can darken the skin. Thus, avoid further darkening of elbows and knees by protecting them from harmful UV rays of the sun. Avoid going out in the sun when the sun rays are too intense. Carry an umbrella, and wear full sleeves tops and pants to offer some protection. Half an hour before heading out in the sun, apply SPF incorporated broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion which will block harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. Purchasing a sunscreen with an SPF 30 is recommended. However, one can purchase sunscreen products with higher SPF as per the need and requirement. While in the sun, reapply the product again every two hours. Elbows are subjected to frequent bending and stretching. Thus, sunscreen applied gets wiped away easily. It is the reason that sunscreen lotion has to be reapplied frequently.


Author: Swati Sharma29 Aug 2020 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

People are often looking for remedies to remove the elbow blackness and this article will be very helpful for them.
Some home remedies are also tried for this -

Lemon is the most suitable choice to obviate this problem. It contains vitamin C. Lemon is a natural bleaching agent. For this, mix one lemon with one spoon of honey and apply it on the elbows and let it dry for 20 minutes and then wash it off. By doing this, the blackness will disappear from the elbow in a very few days.

Make a paste by mixing one teaspoon of bicarbonate and milk. Now apply this paste on the elbows and after a couple of minutes wash it with lukewarm water. This can enhance the clour of the elbows.

Aloe vera is a superb moisturizer. Take its fresh gel and apply it on to the elbows and after thirty minutes wash it with lukewarm water. This may definitely remove the blackness of the elbows.

Author: K Mohan26 Aug 2021 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

There has been growing number of people who are spotted with blackness of their elbow and knee and author has cited many reasons for the same. We have the habit of sitting on the plastic chair and keep the elbow on the chair hands and that frictions which takes place with the plastic material gives rise to blackened spots. Likewise we kneel when we are sleeping on the ground to get the balance of the body to get and stand up. While doing such things we never thought of blackness and only after reading this article the author has created a good awareness to me and others. Many wants to maintain their body and face looks and never gave a thought as to set right the blackened spots of elbow and knees.And the remedies mentioned by the author and also response from Swati Sharma is very convincing and can be pursued to get rid of the problems again.Once again thanks to the author and Swati for giving remedial content to this problem.

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