How to Get Rid of Dark Knees and Elbows

Fashion Bomb reader Leandra wrote in asking, “This is kind of an unusual question, but I’ve been noticing knees lately. The summer’s approaching, and I want to know how to turn my unsightly knees soft and smooth.

Actually, Leandra, it’s not unusual! Dark, rough knees (and elbows) are actually a common occurrence with brown skin. For years people have been doing things like applying lemon halves to the area in an attempt to lighten and soften them, but I wanted to get more info so I asked dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf about the issue and here’s what she had to say:

The dark thick skin on elbows are caused by a buildup of thick skin worsened by all the friction and pressure on this area. When the dead skin builds up, it looks dark — especially if you have a darker skin tone. If you don’t take care of your elbows, the thick skin will continue to build up and become even drier and darker.

Some ways to treat this problem include avoiding the tendency to lean on your elbows. Use a body scrub on the area followed by a lactic acid cream such as Amlactin Moisturizing Cream followed by a rich thick body cream.

If the problem persists your dermatologist can prescribe a topical steroid for scaly skin as well as a prescription strength urea cream to break down thick dead dry skin.

My favorite scrub and cream combo for getting the skin on the body summer ready has to be The Body Shop Spa Wisdom Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub and C.O. Bigelow Lemon Body Cream. The combo helps to get skin soft and glowy for the season of short skirts and short shorts.

Images via Vogue,

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