Health

Why do we have dark knees and elbows, and what to do

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Most of us have experienced dark knees and elbows at some point in our lives, but why do they happen? And can we tackle them? Read on!

Dark elbows and knees are so common! C’mon, we’ve all experienced those at some point (or continue to). Although they may be annoying, we convince ourselves that these are pretty normal. But are they? Or is it that certain habits of ours lead to this? Well, we know you have too many questions, which is why we are going to get straight to the point. 

A recent Instagram post by popular dermatologist Jaishree Sharad tells us about the possible causes of dark elbows and knees. And the best part is that she gives us some amazing solutions too! Don’t believe us? Check out the post for yourself:

What are some causes of dark elbows and knees?

  • Constant friction due to sitting cross-legged, or with elbows resting on a table or kneeling;
  • Tight clothing

Sometimes, the accumulation of dead skin cells and the incidence of certain skin conditions like eczema can also cause the condition. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation could also be a reason. 

There are several cases where dryness is associated with dark knees, and this, in turn, causes more hyperpigmentation. 

Can you reduce dark knees and elbows?

Yes, there are quite a few ways to reduce the appearance of dark knees and elbows, according to Dr Sharad. 

  • Avoid sitting with elbows resting on a table or kneeling frequently: Reducing friction is definitely a good way to reduce their appearance. Sometimes, we don’t even realize that such little habits impact us. So, be a little mindful of this, now that you know!
dark knees and elbows
Dark knees? Not anymore. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  • Moisturize your elbows, knees, ankles 2-3 times a day: Nourishing your skin works well when it comes to reducing the appearance of dark knees and elbows. Plus, it also tackles dryness, which is generally associated with hyperpigmentation.

Also, read: A dermatologist recommends 8 home hacks to brighten your dark knees

  • Use moisturizers with oils, waxes, lanolin, dimethicone, and ceramides: These ingredients can really hydrate your skin, and repair any dark and damaged skin cells.
  • Apply creams containing lactic acid or salicylic acid at bedtime: On the other hand, these ingredients can soften and moisturize the skin, and tackle the hard skin that exists in high-impact areas like elbows and knees.
  • Opt for chemical peels for persistent darkening: Chemical peels are applied to dark elbows and knees to eliminate sandpaper-like skin. Moreover, they can help to improve skin that has been impacted by sun damage. They also reduce the appearance of freckles, and keratosis skin (tiny bumps or pimples that are actually dead skin cells plugging hair follicles). 

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