Have you ever noticed how the skin on your elbows and knees is often darker than the rest of the skin on your arms and legs? It’s a bit funny-looking, isn’t it? Some people think it’s the result of dirt (and sometimes it is), but you’d be surprised to find that dirt often has nothing to do with the dark spots on your elbows and knees.
So what’s the deal, then? Why do your elbows and knees look darker than the rest of your skin? Below, you’ll find out why these dark spots form, and we’ll give you a few tips on how to get rid of dark elbows and knees the easy, natural way. With this advice, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the dark spots on your elbows and knees…
How to Get Rid of Dark Knees: Why the Dark Spots?
Why is the heck the skin on your elbows, knees, and the backs of your ankles darker than the skin on your arms, legs, and feet? There are a surprising number of things that can cause the darker-than-normal skin:
Friction — The human body is designed to adapt and protect itself. If there is a lot of friction in a certain part of your body, your skin will often grow extra thick to reduce the risk of damage to the sensitive lower layers of the dermis. The outer layer of skin grows thick and hard, and the dead skin cells build up. Those dead skin cells look darker than your healthy, alive skin, hence the dark spots.
Sunlight — Did you know that dead skin cells can still absorb sunlight? However, the fact that they’re not alive means that they will have a darker, “dead” appearance than healthy cells. When the dead skin cells build up on your elbows and knees, exposure to sunlight will cause them to darken, giving you those dark spots.
Dirt — Yes, it may be hard to hear it, but dirt can be a major cause of the dark spots on your elbows and knees. When you shower, it’s harder to reach these parts of your body, so you may not do as good a job of washing off dirt and grime. Dirt particles can build up over time, and may be absorbed into the layers of dead skin cells that grow to protect your elbows and knees from friction. It will “stain” the dead skin cells, making them look darker than the rest of your skin.
Genetics — Your body may be working against you! Certain people are genetically predisposed to developing these dark spots on their bodies, especially those with darker skin color. If you have dark skin, you have to be extra careful to avoid dark spots.
Dry Skin — When your skin doesn’t get enough skin oil, it is exposed to pollutants in the air. The skin also tends to dry out, leading to an increased cellular decay rate. Dry skin can cause your skin cells to die off more quickly, causing the dark spots to form more quickly as well.
Other Causes — Here are a few more things that could contribute to the formation of dark spots on your elbows and knees:
- Certain medications
- Certain diseases (obesity, Addison’s syndrome, etc.)
- Hormone imbalances
- Hyperpigmentation of the skin
- Active melanocytes in your elbows or knees
All of these things will increase your risk of developing those dark patches that make your elbows and knees look dirty.
Simple Home Remedies to Eliminate Dark Spots
Thankfully, it’s a lot easier to get rid of these dark spots than might think. It will take a bit of work to get rid of them completely, but the home remedies below will give you a few ideas on how to get rid of dark spots. With a few simple additions to your beauty and daily healthcare routine, you can deal with the problem once and for all!
Worried about your knees looking dirty when bikini season rolls around? During the spring, try this simple remedy:
- Slice a lemon in half.
- Squeeze a bit of juice from the lemon to form a “depression” in the half.
- Press the lemon against the knee or elbow with dark spots. Let the juice soak into your skin, and discard the lemon.
- DO NOT wash your elbows/knees for up to 3 hours after applying the lemon juice.
Easy as pie, right? Lemons contain natural bleaching agents that will help to eliminate the color from the dark skin around your knees and elbows. It will also help to kill off any germs or bacteria, and will begin the process of making the dark spots fade. Do this for a few weeks, and you’ll soon see how the skin around your elbows and knees lightens. Or get this lemon juice to keep it at home whenever you need it.
Turmeric is so much more than just a spice to make your food delicious! It’s loaded with amazing chemicals and compounds that can do wonders for your health. We recommend this type of organic turmeric. One of its best applications is like a skin toner and bleaching agent for your elbow/knee skin:
- Mix a teaspoon of turmeric with a bit of gram flour and a tablespoon of yogurt or heavy cream.
- Using your fingers, apply the thick yellow paste to the skin you want to lighten.
- 20 minutes after application, rinse the paste from your skin using warm water. Gently scrub your elbows to maximize the cleaning/lightening effect of the turmeric.
Warning: The turmeric mixture may stain your elbow/knee skin if left on for too long. Even if you wash it off after just 20 minutes, there may be some yellowing of your skin. Don’t worry! It will disappear after a few days.
Repeat this application every 2 or 3 days–no more than three times per week. After just a couple of weeks, the results will be noticeable.
Aloe vera is one of the best natural moisturizing agents around, but it can also be a wonderful skin toner and lightener. It will help to eliminate the dark spots on your knees and elbows, but it will also reduce sun damage, hydrate your skin, and get rid of any dead skin cells.
Here’s how to use Aloe Vera for your dark spots:
- 1Slice a fresh aloe vera leaf to expose the sticky, gelatinous flesh.
- Rub the flesh on your elbows and knees.
- Let the aloe vera sit for 30 minutes before washing it off with warm water.
If you want to double down on the effectiveness of the aloe vera, mix it with honey. Honey is a natural antiseptic, but it will also help to lighten and tone your skin. The combined aloe vera and honey will do wonders to get rid of dark spots.
Apply aloe vera (with or without honey) to your elbows and knees at least once a day for a week. You’ll see results in no time. Here is the best organic Aloe Vera gel you can get.
If a baking soda can whiten your teeth, it makes sense that it can lighten the skin of your elbows and knees. The natural cleansing properties of baking soda make it a wonderfully effective solution for getting rid of those pesky dark spots.
Here’s what to do:
- Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a ¼ cup of water or milk. Mix until thick paste forms.
- Apply the thick paste to your knees and elbows. Rub it in gentle circles for a few minutes to ensure that it soaks in.
- Let the baking soda paste dry completely before washing it off with warm water.
- Apply a moisturizing lotion (baking soda dries out your skin) after patting your skin dry.
Be warned: baking soda can be a bit TOO strong for some people’s skin. It can cause severe dryness if you use it too often, and may bleach the skin around your elbows and knees. Apply it only to the dark spots, and limit your use to once every two or three days. Once the skin begins to lighten, only use it once a week. See one of the most efficient baking soda for dark elbows and knees.
Olive Oil and Sugar
Olive oil is a wonderful emollient, meaning it will hydrate the skin of your elbows. The granules of sugar added to the oil will act as a scrub, exfoliating your skin to get rid of dead skin cells and reduce friction. The combination of these two ingredients is very efficient for dealing with dark spots. We searched for best olive oil for this use, see it here.
Here’s how to use it:
- Mix a teaspoon of refined granulated sugar with a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Using your fingers, rub the sugar and olive oil mixture on your elbows. Use gentle circular motions, and continue rubbing for up to 5 minutes.
- Let the mixture sit for no more than 10 minutes, and rinse with warm water and mild soap.
You’ll find that this simple remedy does wonders for dry skin, and it can be a highly effective scrub to exfoliate any dead skin cells built up into the thick, dark skin on your elbows and knees.
Panache Bath and Body Shiners
If you’ve been trying the above remedies to deal with the dead skin cells, perhaps it’s time to deal with any dirt or grime that may be causing the dark spots. When it comes down to it, nothing is more effective for scrubbing than:
- Exfoliating brush — You’ll find these brushes are highly effective at scrubbing away dead skin cells and stimulating healthy circulation.
- Loofah — A loofah is gentler on your skin, but it will take more time to get rid of dead skin cells.
- Pumice stone — If you have a very thick buildup of dead skin cells, dirt, and grime, you may need to use the “nuclear” option. Pumice stones are usually used for corns or callouses, and they can grind through dark spots VERY effectively.
Warning: Don’t scrub until you feel pain. Be gentle with the scrubbing, and remember that you’re trying to get rid of the thick buildup or dirt and grime–not rub your skin raw!
Did you know that apricots contain special lightening properties? This is one of the main reasons they’re a primary ingredient in so many exfoliating and skin scrubs. Raw apricots can be a useful tool to get rid of dark spots. Here’s what you need to do:
- Slice an apricot in half and remove the pit.2
- Place the raw apricot on your elbows or knees. Use tape or a bandage to hold it in place for up to 30 minutes. Or, mash the apricot with a fork, and apply the mask to your skin.
- After 30 minutes, rinse your skin with warm water.
Try this remedy 3-4 times per week for the best results.
Such a simple remedy, isn’t it? Hydrogen peroxide contains “peroxide”, a natural bleaching agent that can help to lighten your skin. Using this remedy will help to get rid of dark spots and restore balance to your skin tone. See good product for dark spots here.
Here’s how to use it:
- Dip a cotton ball into hydrogen peroxide.
- Apply the hydrogen peroxide to the skin you want to lighten.
- Let the hydrogen peroxide sit for up to 15 minutes, then wash off with warm water.
Warning: Those with sensitive skin should be careful with hydrogen peroxide. It’s a potent liquid that can cause irritation or inflammation.
Remember that the natural remedies for dark knees and elbows don’t have limitations of use; however, those over-the-counter remedies need to be used in caution. It would be best to stick with natural remedies to make sure it’s safe as well as effective enough.
Following this advice will help you know how to get rid of dark spots on your elbows, knees, and even on the backs of your ankles. They’re quick, easy, and can be done with items you have lying around your home!
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