One of the most common questions about the appearance of skin is, “Why do knees and elbows become black?”. The dark look of certain areas leaves many Black Americans wondering why these dark patches even exist and how to fix the issue.
The answer to this question lies within hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is common amongst Black Americans and persons of color and occurs due to an increase in melanin.
What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
Knees and elbows are areas that become darker than others because these are areas of the body that experience frequent friction from bending.
Hyperpigmentation can also happen during pregnancy, from the use of certain medications, and as a result of several diseases, infections, or conditions.
If you notice unusual darkening of the skin, consult your personal physician for more information and an official diagnosis of the cause.
How Do I Fix This?
The dark appearance of knees and elbows can be lightened by using a loofah pad or brush while in the shower or while taking a bath to exfoliate away dead skin cells.
Scrub the knees and elbows lightly in a circular motion for about a minute. Using over-the-counter fading creams will also help with lightening the appearance of the areas affected.
Using natural lightening agents such as lemon juice can help as well. Using freshly squeezed lemon juice as an astringent, apply the juice to the elbows and knees using a cotton ball.
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Hyperpigmentation is something that can’t be avoided in certain areas of the body, but by understanding the cause of the darkening and how to treat it, its appearance will even out.
Additional Home Remedies
People make colloidal oatmeal by grinding oatmeal into a powder. Combining it with some bathwater or other liquids will help it absorb into the skin.
Research suggests that colloidal oatmeal has several potential benefits for the skin. Colloidal oatmeal may:
- protect the skin from the sun
- moisturize the skin
- treat conditions that affect the skin, such as psoriasis
- These benefits may help prevent skin from darkening.
Green tea might help with lightening skin tone, according to a review.
However, the authors indicate that there is a need for further research as the study in question was limited and did not feature in a peer-reviewed journal.
Initial findings suggest that green tea may help with reducing skin pigmentation, though.
People often use turmeric as a spice in foods, but it also has some potential health benefits.
According to a review of Source, two different studies examining turmeric’s effect on the skin showed that it was effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles and may help with the appearance of dark spots on the skin.
However, the review indicated that the study on skin lightening is not conclusive and that further research is necessary.
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Skin and Beauty Center for more articles.