Are you embarrassed by your dark elbows or knees causing you to feel less confident in short sleeve tops, shorts or skirts and forced to cover up? Well, do not feel alone as lots of ladies have this concern more commonly than you think.
Women of color, especially, can have more pronounced discoloration of elbows and knees given more pigment within skin. Get excited to understand the most likely reason why you are ‘hiding your elbows and knees’ and get real effective dermatology based solutions. So stop concealing and start revealing exquisite elbows and knees!
In general, it is natural for your elbows and knees to look slightly darker than surrounding skin due to extra thick folds of skin, especially your elbows. This extra skin is essential for flexibility to bend your arms and legs. Look in the mirror at your elbows and knees. When bent, you will notice they are lighter and tighter versus when not bent, they look darker and wrinkled. This is simply a natural skin finding which is not a result of any underlying cause. Additionally, your skin can get a buildup of old dead cells on the knee and elbow folds from not exfoliating enough. This gives them a darker appearance although the discoloration is not from actual dark pigment.
There are situations that can actually contribute to darker elbows and knees in which excess skin pigment is produced. Common factors include constant sun exposure which can stimulate overall skin to become darker. If this is the case, it is very important to wear protective long sleeve lightweight clothing and apply sunscreen of at least SPF 15 daily. Are you guilty of leaning on your elbows while talking on phone, eating, typing, holding your hand on face, kneeling on carpet, etc? If so, your skin is subject to making excess pigment from aggravation of constant leaning or pressing elbows or knees on surfaces.
Despite the many underlying reasons for your dark elbows or knees, contrary to popular belief, the first treatment should not be bleaching creams! Please do not rush out to buy them as you can’t put pigment back in skin if over lighten. The preferred initial treatment is over the counter exfoliation products. This is a more gentle, yet very effective method to remove excess old, dead skin cells which contains pigment buildup.
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