17 answers

Need Help with My Elbows.

I am a black woman that has very dark marks on my elbows. I notice a lot of black people have them. What can I do to get rid of these marks on my elbows as it does appear to look like dirty marks which they are not; as i do bathe daily. I was told to use Coco Butter or rub lemon on them. I am willing to try either one unless you can help me.Hhhhheeelllppp!!!! Thank you.

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You all are so wonderful! I had so many responses, I do not know where to start. I will keep you all posted. May God continue to bless each and every one of you!

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I also have the same problem my elbows always looked like if they were dirty, I started using lemon juice and it works wonderful I use it every night

good luck!

I'm white, but my knees and elbows have darker skin on them too. Just part of being human I think. I lotion them up after a shower if I remember, otherwise I tend to just ignore it.

More Answers

Hi M. I'm a African American woman who also haves dark elbows. I tried the lemon rub and it didn't work. So I just left it alone. But a thought just cross my mind. What about trying skin lightening cream. My elbows aren't that dark they're just darker than the rest of my brown complexion. So unless you're light complexed, don't worry about it unless it's very noticeable.

Hi M.,
I have had a lot of customers that have experienced the same thing. The dark marks are dead skin cells. Everyone has dead skin cells on their body, especially elbows and knees. Lotions and oils help however they usually don't absorb into the skin very well and just kind of lather up on the surface unless you exfoliate first. I would recommend trying to exfoliate all over your arms, legs, chest, shoulders, etc....to remove dead skin cells first then apply moisturizer. You will notice a significant difference right away in how easy the lotion, oil, cream or whatever you prefer to moisturize with will soak into your skin. I would be happy to make a recommendation for you from the products I sell if you are interested, but I don't want you to think I am trying to just sell you something. You want to purchase an exfoliant for the body that you will use in the shower when your body is wet. It will be sandy/gritty in texture. Be sure not to rub too hard as it could be irritating to your skin. The product you decide to use should direct you on how often you should use it. Usually you will see some results right away and significant improvements over time. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to know about the products I have.


I too am ablack woman. the safest way is to see a doctor. I have forgotten the name of the prescription but it will even out skin color. It was so effective that it will lighten scar tissue as well. Ask a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist. Best of luck to you.

Some interesting tips here indeed! I agree with body exfoliation but there is a new skin lightening product that is botanically based that gives you a 45 day guarantee. It is a system and I'd love to share it and the body exfoliating product with you if you'd like to learn about it. Absolutely wonderful products that are pure and safe and guaranteed! Email me for more information on these. Best to you!

Wellness Consultant

You may have found an idea that you like by now, but in case you're still looking for more suggestions, here is mine -- Lansinoh. It's 100% lanolin, and it's usually sold for protecting nipples during breastfeeding, but our family uses it for other issues as well. When my younger son was in high school, he used to frequently get crusty elbows and would often ask me for "that sheep stuff" -- nothing else would do, for him. You can find it in most grocery stores, in the bottle and breastfeeding section. I would suggest the 100% lanolin "Lansinoh" rather than any creams which have lanolin plus other components. Here is what it looks like...


Since lanolin comes from sheep's wool, this suggestion might not work for you if you are allergic to wool.

Best wishes,

I also have the same problem my elbows always looked like if they were dirty, I started using lemon juice and it works wonderful I use it every night

good luck!

Hi M.,

If you see a dermatologist they can give you a script for Protopic - it's a med to treat skin issues such as atopic dermatitis - but it always acts as a skin lightener... (added bonus of the med). It would more than likely work wonders!! Seeing a derm is your best bet as I'm sure there are others options as well. good luck!!!

In this month's issue of glamor magazine they gave advice for smoothing rough skin with grapefruit. They pictured a dark skinned woman with each elbow pressed into a grapefruit half. The citrus juice really helps. They also suggested lemon juice to lighten dark spots in a past issue.

Hi M., your elbows are dark because we tend to lean on them while sitting at table or desk. Purchase some fading cream to treat these area. Most say to use once a day but you can use it as often as you need. This also works on old scars.

I saw on the Tyra show they rubbed Crisco on their elbows and then put knee socks with the toes cut out over their arms to cover the elbow area. Not sure how long they kept these on, I think overnight, but it was supposedly a "beauty secret"

Good morning to you--

I would suggest pure cocoa butter for a few weeks and if that doesn't help, getting in to see the dermatologist would be the next step.

I used cocoa butter while pregnant with my first one and I didn't get any marks or dark areas, and took it for granted with my second pregnancy and got them. I was bummed.

I really do think cocoa butter is a wondrous product and should be the first thing you try.

Good luck!

This is just an idea. Try putting a liberal amount of coco butter, shea butter, mango butter or even a natural oils like sweet almond oil or avocado oil on your elbows when you go to bed. Then wrap them with a diaper or a white cotton cloth like a dish towel. This will allow that area to stay warm and should soften the skin which might help take these marks away. It is just an idea. Men or woman who have problems with there hand being dry or to ruff should put natural butters or oil on their hands and put on white gloves before they go to bed. I have done this and it works. It really softens the skin. So it might just work on your elbows.
Good Luck

How about aquaphor or the Lansinol breast feeding cream..very thick and moisturizing?

Dear M., One of the best exfoliants that I have even used is called PRETTY FEET.(look for it online in internet drugstores...I cannot find it in local stores anymore..It has a white hard tube like case with a bright pink top) It will rub off the dry skin on your elbows knees or feet and THEN you can use the lemons and follow-up with the coco butter or any good creme.
I recently flew cross country for my son's big San Francisco wedding and my dress had a jacket but it was sleeveless...I paid over $100 for a rub on tan so that my size 16, 66 yr. old fat arms would not look like white sausages when i took my jacket off! Smiles, D. J

Hi M.,
Ask you Avon Lady for the Moisture Therapy lotion
or cream. It works wonders! Also, the Planet Spa
line has African Shea Butter that works. For
ashy skin, use an exfolliate to remove the "old
skin" and moisturize. One more thing..Avon's
Skin So Soft Bath Oil is terrific, use that daily
on you elbows and feet. They will be as smooth
as silk. Good Luck! Barb

I'm white, but my knees and elbows have darker skin on them too. Just part of being human I think. I lotion them up after a shower if I remember, otherwise I tend to just ignore it.

After exfoliating, a skin lightening cream with hydroquinone should help but it may take some time. You can get prescription strength hydroquinone from your doctor which will work a little faster but you should only use it on the areas that need to be lightened.

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