Why is the skin on our knees and elbows often darker than the skin on our arms and legs? In some cases it may be just dirt, but in others, dark knees and elbows may be caused by medication, hormone imbalance, or hyperpigmentation of the skin. Sometimes it is something simple that you can avoid, other times it is not. Let’s explore how these dark spots form and easy ways to remedy this.
Dirt is a major cause of dark knees and elbows. Often during a shower, we overlook the hard to reach places like knees and elbows. Over time, the dirt build up can penetrate into layers of dead skin cells that actually grow to protect your knees and elbows from friction and chaffing. The layer of dead skin cells become even darker from the dirt stain, therefore it appears much darker than the healthy skin around the knees and elbows. Be sure to scrub your knees and elbows thoroughly to remove dirt particles that may be hiding on the outer layer.
Friction is an action the human body can remedy on its own. When the body experiences a great deal of friction on a certain part of the body, the skin will react and grow an extra thick outer layer to reduce risk of damage to more sensitive underlying layers of the dermis. Friction from clothes will initiate the outer layer of skin to build a layer of dead skin cells to protect the area from damage. As they protect, the dead cells look much darker than the healthy skin around it, making the discoloration more noticeable. If your clothes rub or cause friction on your knees and elbows, moisturize those areas daily to keep skin from drying out.
Sunlight can cause dark knees and elbows to get even darker. Even though the skin cells are dead, the outer layer can still absorb sunlight. The dead skin cells are already dark and with exposure to the sun they will get darker. When applying sunscreen, remember to lather up the knees and elbows to help reduce further darkening.
If you have dark elbows and knees and seek treatment, Vivia Center offers the Obagi-C Rx System. The program emphasizes correction and stimulation of the skin by regulating and strengthening skin functions to produce collagen, elastin, and healthier skin cells. Effective for both men and women of all ages, skin types, and skin colors, this treatment creates a softer, smoother, and more even-toned appearance. Are you ready to get rid of the dark spots? Schedule a FREE skin consultation today!