Many people have darker skin patches on their knees, elbows, and the backs of their ankles, and they desperately want to get rid of them. If you are also dealing with this issue, here’s what you need to do to naturally eliminate it.

There are several reasons why the skin on your elbows, knees, and the backs of your ankles is sometimes darker than the skin in other parts of your body.  The following are some of them:

Friction – Too much friction in a certain body part can make skin grow thicker in that part in order to reduce the risk of damage to the sensitive layers of the dermis. The thicker the skin grows, the more dead skin cells build up, making your skin appear darker.

Sunlight – Dead skin cells can pile up on your skin and make it look dry and dull. Even though these cells aren’t alive, they can still absorb sunlight. Therefore, when you expose yourself to sunlight they become even darker, leading to those darker skin patches you don’t want on your body.

Dirt – Body parts like the elbows and knees are harder to reach when showering, which is why many people tend to fail to wash off all the dirt and grime on them. Over time, these dirt particles will pile on and may be absorbed into the layers of dead skin cells as well, leading to darker patches of skin.

Dry skin – Your knees and elbows have fewer oil glands than other body parts, which causes dryness. Dry skin may cause your skin cells to die off faster, making it easier for the skin to become darker.

Genetics – Some people, especially those with darker skin color, have a predisposition to develop dark skin patches on their bodies. Therefore, if your skin is darker, you should nurture it properly to avoid the formation of dark spots.

Other causes of dark knees and elbows:

  • hormone imbalances
  • active melanocytes in the elbows or knees
  • certain diseases, including Addison’s syndrome and obesity
  • hyperpigmentation
  • certain medications

Instead of wasting your money on chemical-laden whitening products, we suggest trying some of the following seven natural ways to help you successfully lighten your dark patches:

  1. Lemon Juice

This citrus fruit is probably the best natural whitener. It is abundant with vitamin C, which helps eliminate dead skin cells as well as stimulate the growth of new ones at the same time. Simply cut a lemon in half and rub your knees and elbows with each half, or squeeze out the lemon juice and massage the affected parts. It is important to make sure not to expose yourself to sunlight at least for three hours after this treatment so as to avoid irritation.

  1. Salt

Salt can be used as an exfoliator due to its coarse texture. Any type of salt will work just fine, so you can use both sea salt and table salt. To remove dead skin cells, combine salt with lemon juice, olive oil, or grapeseed oil.

  1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is popularly used for teeth whitening, but it can also be used for this purpose. Due to its texture it works as a gentle exfoliator, removing dead skin cells and pigmentation. Mix some baking soda with water, yogurt, or milk to create a paste. Massage your knees and elbows with the resulting paste to effectively lighten dark patches.

  1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the most popular oils in the world due to its amazing benefits. This oil can also be helpful when it comes to dark skin patches. Thanks to its vitamin E content, coconut oil can help you brighten your dark elbows and knees as well as repair skin and keep it moisturized. To get rid of dark patches, take a small amount of coconut oil and massage it onto the affected areas after having a shower.

  1. Sugar

Sugar can also act as an exfoliator due to its texture, and it is really cheap. Combine some sugar with a few drops of lemon juice or olive oil to create a homemade scrub. Apply the scrub to the affected areas and massage using circular motions.

  1. Turmeric

This spice can serve as a great natural whitener and help you eliminate skin pigmentation. Combine turmeric with lemon juice, olive oil, or coconut oil to create a paste. Apply this paste to your dark knees and elbows and massage gently. Make sure to rinse the paste off thoroughly as it will leave yellow discoloration on your skin.

  1. Milk

Apply milk to your skin on a daily basis to help you brighten your dark knees and elbows. Milk has this ability due to the lactic acid contained in it, which helps brighten skin. You can also combine milk with some baking soda to create a paste.

Home remedies need some time to work their magic, so don’t expect miraculous results over night and be patient. By regularly using these home remedies, you will soon get rid of your dark skin patches in a completely natural way.


Cole, D. (2017). 7 Natural ways to lighten elbows and knees. Retrieved February 5, 2017, from

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