How to Get Rid of Dark Elbows

The skin around the elbows and knees is usually thicker and has more folds than its surrounding skin. Also, because there are no oil glands in these areas, this skin tends to be drier. So, when proper care and hygiene is not maintained, the skin on elbows becomes much darker than other parts of your body.

Some factors that contribute to dark elbows and knees are frequent rubbing, sun exposure, build-up of dead skin cells, genetic factors, dry skin, hormonal imbalance and obesity.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Dark Elbows

There are several natural remedies and skin care techniques which will help you get rid of dark elbows and knees, easily and effectively.

1. Turmeric

A mixture of heavy cream (or milk with a high fat content) and turmeric works well to lighten elbows, particularly on people with darker skin tones. Turmeric is a natural bleaching agent which helps to reduce melanin in the skin.

  • Get some heavy cream and boil it until it thickens and becomes clotted.
  • Mix in a half teaspoon of turmeric, with a half cup of gram-flour and blend into a paste.
  • Apply this paste to your elbows, using a circular motion, then rinse well with water.
  • Be aware that turmeric can dye the skin a yellowish-orange color, but this will fade after a day or two.
2. Mint

Mint contains several volatile oils that promote collagen in the body. It helps maintain an even skin tone and makes skin glow with health.

  • Boil 1/2 cup of water with a handful of mint leaves for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to it, strain and allow the solution to cool.
  • Soak a cotton ball in this solution and rub it on your elbows.
  • Leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then wash it off with warm water.
  • Do this twice a day until you are satisfied with the results.
3. Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter

These natural fats act as good moisturizers and help make the skin soft. They also help remove the darkness caused by dry and flaky skin.

  • Apply cocoa butter or Shea butter on your dark elbows every night before going to bed.
4. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains citric acid which is a natural bleaching agent. Therefore, applying lemon juice to elbows can help to lighten the skin.

  • Cut a large lemon in half. Squeeze out some of the juice from both halves so that you have two hollow halves or “cups”. Rub each lemon cup over your elbows.
  • You can rub away any excess pulp, but don’t wash your elbows for about 3 hours. This gives the lemon juice time to act more deeply.
  • Wash off the lemon juice with some warm water. As lemon juice can be drying, you should moisturize the area with your favorite body moisturizer.
  • Repeat this every day until the dark skin begins to fade. You should see a significant difference within a couple of weeks.
5. Sugar and Olive Oil

Sugar works as an exfoliating agent and olive oil helps moisturize the skin.

  • Mix equal amounts of olive oil and sugar to make a thick paste
  • Apply this mixture on your elbows
  • Rub the skin using this mixture for about 5 minutes.
  • Then rinse it off with soap and lukewarm water.
6. Yogurt and Vinegar

The combination contains both lactic and acetic acid each of which helps lighten your skin color.

  • Mix one teaspoon of yogurt with one teaspoon of white vinegar and mix until they form a consistent paste.
  • Apply to elbows, rubbing in a circular motion.
  • Leave for 20 minutes, then rinse off and moisturize.
7. Natural Oils

Natural oils will help you moisturize the skin and lighten dark elbows.

  • Apply any natural oil like olive oil, sesame seed oil or coconut oil on the skin to reduce the dryness and darkening of skin.
8. Cucumber

Cucumber has natural bleaching properties that help lighten dark elbows and knees. Also, cucumber will help keep the skin moisturized.

  • Gently rub thick slices of cucumber over your elbows for 10 minutes.
  • Leave it for another 5 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water.
  • Follow this treatment daily until you are satisfied with the results.
9. Bleaching Fruits

Fruits like lemon, tomato and grapes have bleaching property and help you get rid of dark elbows when used regularly.

  • Apply the juice of any of the bleaching fruits regularly on your elbows.
  • Do this daily until you are satisfied with the results.
10. Milk and Baking Soda

This remedy helps lighten dark elbows as milk contains lactic acid which reduces skin pigmentation, while the baking soda helps to exfoliate dead skin cells.

  • Mix enough milk to turn the baking soda in to a paste.
  • Apply on your elbows and gently scrub it in a circular motion. Do this until you notice your skin is lighter.

Other Remedies for Dark Elbows

Wear sunscreen. Sun exposure can cause damage skin and make the skin on elbows darker, so it’s important to apply sunscreen before all outdoor excursions and activities.

Scrub your elbows. Scrubbing your elbows helps you remove dry, flaky skin cells which become trapped in the elbow creases and causing skin to have a darker appearance.

  • Use a washcloth to apply with exfoliating shower gel to remove excess dead skin cell your elbows.
  • Just remember not to scrub too hard or too frequently, as this may cause your skin to produce extra cells which can make your elbows even darker.
  • Scrub gently; just once or twice a week.
  • Be patient and you will soon notice a big difference.

Moisturize. Dry skin causes skin to darken, so remember to keep your elbows and knees moisturized!

  • Moisturize after each shower or before you go to bed at night, and before you leave the house in the morning.
  • For best results, use lotions which contain shea butter, jojoba oil, or olive oil.

Cover your elbows. After you’ve applied your moisturizing lotion or oil, cover your elbows with soft tube socks (cut off the toes and the tight elastic). This will help protect your elbows as you sleep, keep the product from rubbing off, and lock in the moisture as you sleep.


  • Rub a thick potato slice over your elbows and knees for 5 minutes daily before taking a shower or bath.
  • Do not put pressure on your elbows and knees as it can make the skin dark as well as rough.
  • You can rub a small slice of ripe papaya onto the skin to enjoy soft and supple skin.
  • Rub the dark skin using a pumice stone. This helps remove dead skin cells.
  • Avoid exfoliating your elbows and knees if you have an open wound as it may make it worse and increase the chances of infection.
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water everyday to enjoy soft and healthy skin.
  • Follow a healthy diet that includes vitamins and minerals for optimal skin nourishment.
  • Wear full-length and long-sleeved clothes when you are out and the temperature is high.