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How to Care for Dark Elbows and Knees

How to Care for Dark Elbows and Knees

How to Care for Dark Elbows and Knees

If you’ve ever taken a good hard look at your elbows and wondered, “hey, why are they so dark”, we’ve got good news for you: you’re not alone, and there’s nothing wrong with your elbows. Darker patches of skin on the elbows and knees are a rather common skin concern: they’re a form of hyperpigmentation that can have different causes and that, in some cases, can be corrected.

Are dark elbows normal? What causes dark elbows and knees?

Let’s start with something that will ease your mind: yes, dark elbows and knees are normal. As we’ve already mentioned, when we talk about this skin concern, we’re talking about a form of hyperpigmentation that affects a lot of people and that does not pose any danger to our health. It can affect people of all ages and skin types, but people with darker skin tend to be more affected (as with many other types of hyperpigmentation).

Common causes for dark elbows and knees include the accumulation of dead skin cells (in these cases, dryness is also often involved), friction, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from past injuries, certain skin conditions (such as eczema or psoriasis), or side effects from some types of medication.

Can you brighten dark elbows and knees?

If you want to lighten these patches of hyperpigmentation on the elbows and knees, in order to even out your skin tone, there may be ways to do it. Depending on the cause of your hyperpigmentation, some methods may work better than others. We’ll summarize them below:


Hydrated skin always looks more even than dry skin, and your elbows and knees are no different. If, in addition to being hyperpigmented, your elbows and knees also feel dry and coarse to the touch, moisturizing them can be a good first step towards achieving more even-looking skin.


If the darker patches on your elbows or knees are associated with an accumulation of dead skin cells, exfoliation may be a good way to minimize them. In addition to removing dead skin cells, regular–but gentle!– exfoliation also contributes to a softer and more uniform skin texture.

Use brightening ingredients

If hydrating and exfoliating aren’t enough, you may need to pull out some big guns and use depigmenting products, which act directly on hyperpigmented spots and patches. A few years ago, it wouldn’t have been easy to find brightening or depigmenting products designed for use on the body (they were only for the face), but nowadays there are specialized products that you can use to combat localized blemishes.

Wear sunscreen

When it comes to hyperpigmentation, one of the most important things you can do to prevent and correct it is to use sunscreen on a daily basis. As you know, the sun has the potential to darken hyperpigmented patches and further accentuate the difference in tone between your elbows and knees and the rest of your skin. By using sunscreen whenever you expose yourself to the sun (even if just in passing!), you can prevent this and, at the same time, protect your skin against the harmful effects of solar radiation.

Hopefully this post has helped you normalize your darker elbows and knees; as we mentioned, this is a common skin concern (this writer shares it!) that doesn’t pose any risk to your health: it’s merely cosmetic! If you want to correct these patches of localized hyperpigmentation, there are options you can explore, including body care products with brightening and depigmenting benefits. Oh, and don’t forget your sunscreen!

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