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How to Lighten Dark Marks on the Elbows

How to Lighten Dark Marks on the Elbows


Elbows are subject to wear and tear on a daily basis, and in time, oil and grime builds up in the small skin folds, causing dry, brown patches to appear. Although the elbows are often a forgotten part of a total skin care routine, regular care can restore soft, natural elbows. Be patient and persistent, as your elbows won't be pristine overnight. See your physician if your elbows haven't improved after one to two weeks.

Step 1

Exfoliate to remove dry and dead skin cells that may be causing the brown spots on your elbows. Use a gentle, alcohol-free commercial exfoliant for dry skin. Alternatively, make your own exfoliant by combining 2 tbsp. granulated sugar or brown sugar with 2 tbsp. light olive oil. Massage the exfoliant into the brown areas on your elbows, then rinse with warm water. Exfoliate in the shower where the warm water will help to soften your skin. Repeat every day until your elbows soften and the brown spots begin to lighten. After that time, exfoliate as needed to keep your elbows in good condition.

Step 2

Massage a moisturizer into the dark spots on your elbows. Use a commercial moisturizer formulated for dry skin, such as a product containing vitamin E or vitamin A. Avoid products containing fragrance, which will dry your skin. You can also moisturize the brown patches on your elbows with almond oil or olive oil. Apply moisturizer as often as needed throughout the day to keep your elbows hydrated.

Step 3

Treat dry, brown patches to an intensive treatment for extra softening and moisturizing. Rub a generous coating of moisturizer or oil into the brown spots on your elbows, then cover the area with a plastic bag. Remove the bag after 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Alternatively, cut the foot from a pair of cotton socks. Slide the sock over your moisturized elbow and allow the moisturizer to absorb into your elbows overnight. Repeat as needed.

Step 4

Cut a grapefruit in half and place one elbow in each half for 15 minutes to soften and lighten the skin on your elbows, suggests Reader's Digest. A lemon or lime rubbed on the elbows will also help to lighten dark skin.

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