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Chemical Peels for Dark Knees, Elbows, Hands and Feet?

Can chemical peels be used to lighten dark feet, hands, knees and elbows? Can it be used on African skin?

Doctor Answers (3)

Chemical Peels for Dark Parts of the Body


Chemical Peels are not too helpful with this skin care problem.  The skin on these areas are thicker making the pigment darker. Using a daily moisturizer with alpha and or beta hydroxy acids is a more beneficial treatment.


Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Creams work best for dark knees and elbows


I think chemical peels may be helpful but only for the short term. A better treatment and maintenance plan is a skin softening and hydrating cream that can soften the thick skin typical in these areas that gives this skin the dark appearance. Typically these creams contain alpha hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, and/or urea in a very thick moisturizing base. A non-prescription cream that is very nice for this is the Avene Akerat cream.

Elizabeth F. Rostan, MD
Charlotte Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Chemical peels for dark knees and elbows


Dear Ashmed,

Chemical peels can be used on African skin, however in the areas that you are concerned about (the feet, hands, knees and elbows) they are not too helpful. This skin in this area is thicker by nature and in skin that is pigmented, it often appears darker. If these areas get dry they may also thicken and appear darker. My advice would be to moisturize daily and watch over time. Chemical peels will be a waste of money.

Good luck,

Dr. Mariwalla

Kavita Mariwalla, MD
New Haven Dermatologic Surgeon

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