Dark elbows are common in many individuals, and while this does not pose any medical risk, it always carries with it slight embarrassment for the affected individuals. Skin darkening on the elbows results from the accumulation of dead skin cells and the thickening of the skin.

The dead skin is formed by constant friction at the point where the skin comes into contact with external surfaces. One of the most common habit that easily becomes embedded in the subconscious, and which easily causes darkened elbows is leaning on the table during meal times.

woman with arm behind her back

Additional factors which lead to the darkening of the elbows include over-exposure to the sun, poor skin hygiene as well as lack of exfoliation. It is important to note that dark elbows can occur to anyone, regardless of their skin tone.

The good news is that there are a number of home remedies that can be used to deal with dark elbows, many of which do not have any side effects on the majority of the people who use them.

For a number of these natural remedies, the mode of action involves any of the following mechanisms: lightening the skin, exfoliation, nourishing the skin as well as steering the regeneration of new cells on the skin.Below are the top home remedies for the natural treatment of dark elbows.

1. Baking Soda:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: One tablespoon of baking soda, some milk in a cup, cotton wool, and warm water.
Difficulty: Easy


Baking soda has long been used as a remedy for different skin conditions, thanks to its efficiency in cleansing the skin through exfoliation. This abrasive action helps get rid of the layer of dead skin cells, and gives a new lease of life to the cells in the elbow region. Constant use of baking soda thus reduces the darkening of the skin. Milk on the other hand, has had its benefits since the days of Cleopatra. It is a great addition to the use of baking soda because not only does it provide a base for the creation of the paste, it also has a bleaching effect on the skin, thus dealing with dark elbows effectively.


  1. Place a tablespoon of the baking soda in a bowl and add a few drops of milk before mixing well.
  2. Continue adding the milk until you have a paste with the desired consistency.
  3. Dab a ball of cotton wool in the paste and apply this paste on your elbows in gentle circular motions.
  4. Let the paste sit on the elbows for 15 minutes, after which you will rinse the elbows using warm water. Follow this up with your normal skin routine. You can always incorporate this remedy into your daily skin routine.


2. Aloe Vera:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Gel from freshly cut aloe vera leaf and warm water.
Difficulty: Easy


Aloe Vera is, without a doubt, one of the most common and effective remedies for the skin. When used to treat dark elbows, the gel squeezed from the freshly cut leaf is applied on the skin to help lighten it. Other benefits of using aloe vera gel include its ability to moisturize the skin and keep it hydrated. In the long term, aloe vera gel helps even the tone of the skin as well as heal the skin cells damaged through overexposure to the sun’s UV rays. The gel has a cooling effect, so if you have dark itchy elbows, this remedy should work wonders for you.


  1. Collect the gel in a bowl and coop some of it before applying it on your elbows.
  2. Let the gel sit on the elbows for about 20 minutes for the effects to take place.
  3. Rinse the gel off using warm water. You can use this remedy twice daily for the best results.


3. Sugar Scrub:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: A tablespoon of sugar, a tablespoon of olive oil, and warm soapy water to rinse the scrub.
Difficulty: Easy


Making your own sugar scrub to exfoliate the skin around your elbows is as easy as it gets since all you require is equal amounts of sugar and olive oil. Sugar is used because its granular composition helps get rid of dead cells on the skin. When used consistently, sugar scrub transfers the skin on the elbow from rough to smooth and moisturized. Olive oil acts as a base for the creation of the sugar scrub, while also benefiting the skin with its hydration effects.


  1. Place the sugar in a bowl and drizzle an equivalent amount of the olive oil to form the scrub.
  2. Apply this paste on your elbows, making sure you rub the scrub in gentle motions.
  3. Let the scrub sit on the elbows for just about 20 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
  4. Apply some olive oil on the elbows to ensure that the skin remains hydrated over the course of the day.
  5. Rinse off the scrub using warm soapy water and repeat this procedure until you notice that your elbows no longer have excessive pigmentation.


4. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice:

Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: 2 medium-sized lemons, warm water to rinse, skin moisturizer, and cotton wool.
Difficulty: Easy


Freshly squeezed lemon juice is rich in Vitamin C, and this makes it an ideal remedy for dark elbows because the vitamin helps get rid of dead cells on the skin. In addition to this, the presence of citric acid in the lemon juice enhances the regeneration of skin cells, gradually getting rid of the darkened sin cells. These natural bleaching properties, when combined with lemon juice’s exfoliation properties make for an effective home remedy in the treatment of dark elbows.


  1. Rub the lemons on the kitchen surface before slicing to juice. Doing this causes the fiber to release the juice more readily.
  2. Cut the lemon into half and juice it.
  3. Soak some cotton wool in the juice before applying it on your elbows, making sure to massage in gentle circular motions.
  4. Air-dry the lemon juice for about 15 minutes to allow the skin’s pores absorb the juice.
  5. Rinse your elbows using warm water and follow this up with the application of moisturizing lotion.


5. Turmeric And Honey:

Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: A teaspoon of turmeric powder, a tablespoon of honey, cotton wool, and gloves (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


Turmeric is an excellent antiseptic, and its use on the skin helps maintain the skin in a hygienic state. Honey too has excellent antiseptic properties. Additionally, honey’s viscosity means that when applied on the skin, it seals in moisture and prevents the skin from drying. Honey is also laden with nutrients which make it a versatile addition to this remedy.

Note that there are many types of honey in the market, but the best choice for you as far as this is concerned is raw unprocessed honey that has no additives. It is also important to note that due to the use of turmeric, which is a bright orange spice, you may need to wear protective clothing and gloves (although this is totally optional).


  1. Mix the turmeric and the honey and stir until the turmeric powder is spread through out the paste.
  2. Apply the turmeric-honey paste on your elbows, and ensure that you massage in gentle motions.
  3. Allow the paste to dry on the skin for some 15 minutes.
  4. Once the 15 minutes have elapsed, wet your hands with warm water and massage again to loosen the paste.
  5. Rinse your elbows with warm water and apply moisturizing skin lotion.


6. Cocoa Butter and/or Shea Butter:

Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Cocoa butter and/or Shea butter.
Difficulty: Easy


When it comes to maintaining your skin in great condition, perhaps nothing works as well as cocoa butter and shea butter. The two are integral to healthy skin because they are made up of natural healthy fats that moisturize the skin, ensuring its stays soft and supple. Regular use of either of the two effectively gets rid of dark elbows and also helps you deal with dry flaky skin that the elbows are prone to.


  1. Simple slather a generous amount of cocoa butter or shea butter on the palms of your hands and apply to your elbows. The best time to use this remedy is at bedtime when the remedies can work overnight for best results.


7. Pumice Stone:

Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Pumice stone and warm soapy water.
Difficulty: Easy


When getting rid of ark elbows almost turns to a self-proclaimed mission, the incorporation of the pumice stone goes a long way in treating the condition. Traditionally used for the feet, pumice stones can also be used to address darkened elbows by promoting skin exfoliation of the affected skin. By getting rid of dead cells on the skin, the pumice stone reduces the darkening over a significant period of time.


  1. Wet your hands before applying some soap on your elbows.
  2. Take the pumice stone and rub your elbows in gentle motions, taking care not to graze or injure yourself.
  3. Rinse the elbows and apply an ideal skin moisturizer.
    This remedy can be used daily, and is best incorporated into your bath time for convenience’s sake.


8. Almond Oil:

Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Almond oil. Optional ingredients include- almond nuts, natural yogurt, and warm water.
Difficulty: Easy


Almond oil has long been used for the treatment of the skin in order to maintain its health and characteristic glow. In addition to this, almond oil is packed with nutrients that enhance the skin’s tone and keep it hydrated. Incorporate almond oil into your regular skin routine and you will note a significant improvement in the pigmentation of your elbows. Introducing almond nuts to your diet also has a positive effect on the skin, but since these benefits are localized, they will typically take longer than the use of almond oil.


  1. Place some almond oil on the palms of your hands and rub gently before massaging your elbows with the oil. The best time to use this remedy is at bedtime when the skin undergoes restoration through the night as you sleep.
  2. The other alternative is to pound the almonds and add some natural yogurt to create a paste. You will then apply this paste on your elbows, before allowing it to dry for 15 minutes. Wet your hands once more and massage again in order to loose the paste. Rinse with warm water and apply almond oil overnight. Repeat this procedure once daily for a couple of months for the best results.


9. Mint:

Time Required: 35 Min
What You Need: Fresh mint leaves, half a cup of clean water, freshly squeezed lemon, cotton wool, and warm water to rinse.
Difficulty: Easy


Mint is not only a refreshing herb used in the culinary field, it also makes for a great home remedy in the treatment of dark elbows. This is because mint contains volatile oils that enhance the production of collagen on the skin. Collagen is a type of protein on the skin which, when regenerated, helps maintain the youthful glow on the skin. These oils present in mint also help maintain an even skin tone, one of the actions which goes a long way in dealing with the darkening of the elbows.


  1. Take a handful of fresh mint leaves and add to the cup of water.
  2. Boil the mixture for a couple of minutes before adding three tablespoons of the freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  3. Strain the mixture and transfer to a bowl to allow cooling.
  4. Soak a ball of cotton wool in the cooled mixture and rub it gently on your elbows.
  5. Let the mixture remain on the skin for about 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Repeat this procedure twice daily until you are satisfied with the skin appearance of your elbows.


There are no oil glands on the skin in the elbow region, so this makes the elbows prone to drying out. Each of the remedies above help lighten and moisturize the skin, so regular use goes a long way in keeping the skin healthy and avoiding dark patches.

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