Procedures for Dark Elbows and Knees?

For years I've had to embarassingly deal with dark elbows and knees. I've scrubbed for a while and used lightening skin cream, and they've worked to a degree. But they're not permanent if you don't keep up with it. I'd like to get it over and done with and not be self-conscious anymore. So is there any procedure that can help me? What are my options for this? Thank you so much.

Doctor Answers 6

Skin Lightening of Pigmented Elbows and Knees with Melarase

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The skin over the elbows and knees are particularly elastic and resilient. You will notice that the pigmentation is more apparent when your joints are extended and the skin overlying the joints is contracted and redundant. The pigmentation is a reflection of the type of skin around the joints and the fact that there is constant friction between these thickened areas and the environment.

You are correct that the treatments you mentioned are temporary. In other words, there is no cure to change this specific skin type because the skin in these areas serve a specialized use. Permanent depigmentation can be acheived but may be contraindicated based on your native skin color.

I would recommend a chemical peel such as MelaPeel or a more regimented exfoliation such as Melarase. The most important aspect of this answer is that the condition cannot be cured but only treated with vigilant and longterm treatment.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

No permanent treatments

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There are no permanent treatments for dark elbows and knees and some of the darkness comes from the skin redundancy that has to be there to allow your elbows and knees to bend (it's natural!)

For people with especially dark areas where the rest of their skin is lighter some peels (VIpeel) can be used but those types of products should be used with caution in patients with darker skin.

I hope this helps!

Steven Williams, MD

Check out the ViPeel for dark elbows and knees

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Hi- in my practice, we have had great success treating darkly pigmented areas of the face and body with the ViPeel, a chemical peel formula with a combination of ingredients that work synergistically to achieve the improvement you desire. Occasionally more than one treatment is required, but recovery is easy and the treatments are very effective. You can read more at the ViPeel here

Dark skin on your elbow and knees

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The skin in these areas are always in motion because they are over some of the most utilized joints in the body.  There is no permanent way to lighten up those particular areas of the body.  You should continue to gently exfoliate which are non-abrasive to help maintain these areas to their best appearance.

Dark Elbows and Knees

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There are creams that may help lighten or even chemical peels that could help.  One thing that would be advisable would be to use a sunscreen whenever you are in the sun to help minimize further hyper pigmentation. As well, you can use various of the exfoliation products to help get rid of the dead cells



Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

Dark elbows and knees

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  One possibility is that you learn to accept this as this is just who you are, and is caused by skin redundancy in this area.  If you do want treatment, then the skin lighteners is a treatment that is relatively benign but you must keep doing it.  Do consider combining it with occasional light and medium depth peels for even better results.  But you will need to keep the treatments going.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.