Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

healthy living~ elbows and knees

  as requested, here is a re-posting of my article on taking care of your elbows and knees. 

 I have always been plagued with dry, cracking elbows- perhaps because I lean on them. I actually got a horrid infection in an elbow a few years back; a more common occurrence than most would realize.

Yep, rough, dark knees and elbows are a very common problem in both men and women, and can be a result of many reasons. They are usually caused by constant rubbing or friction with clothes you wear, excessive pressure from leaning on them, too much sun exposure, and overly dry skin.

In some cases, dark elbows can be a sign of an underlying medical problem such as diabetes, hyperpigmentation, Addison's disease, or an adverse reaction to a medication you're currently taking. Therefore, you should speak with a doctor or dermatologist right away if you suddenly have a problem or if these skin whitening home remedies don't help.

Dark rough skin on elbows and knees can be softened and whitened as long as you're patient and diligent about it – exfoliate, bleach, and moisturize.
And again… putting commercial stuff loaded with chemicals and preservatives can worsen the condition- use something natural as much as possible.

 Natural Home Treatments for Dark, Dry, & Rough Elbows and Knees

1. The first thing you have to do is exfoliate your elbows and knees once or twice a week to rejuvenate them. Scrubbing speeds up cell renewal by removing the top layer of dead skin cells that gives your skin a dry and dull appearance while softening rough skin on your elbows and knees.

There are many ways to slough off dead dry skin on your joints. You can use an over-the-counter exfoliating scrub, a loofah sponge, bath gloves, or make your own homemade scrubs for pennies.

Try mixing up a bit of olive oil and brown sugar (or white), or coffee grounds and grapeseed oil. For very dry skin, I'd suggest you use flax seeds and sunflower oil. Flaxseeds are a rich source of Vitamin E, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are beneficial in helping cells repair and prevent damage.

 2. Once you've finished exfoliating your knees and elbows, rub a cut lemon or lime onto your joints to naturally bleach the dark patches. Leave the juice on your skin for at least 30 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. If possible, leave it overnight for a more potent bleaching action.

Another home remedy to whiten dark elbows and knees is to combine 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil (or almond oil) with ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or lime juice). Apply mixture to discolored knees and elbows, and wait for 30 minutes before washing.

Like lemon juice, gram flour can be extremely effective in fading dark skin blemishes. Make a paste of gram flour (also known as chickpea flour, or besan) and a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Gently massage the paste on darkened elbows and knees in circular motions. Wash off using warm water when it dries.

If you don't have lemons in your kitchen, then look for yogurt or milk. Both ingredients work well as natural skin lightener and also add moisture to dry rough skin. Mix a small amount of yogurt with a pinch of turmeric powder, and apply on skin areas that have become dark to lighten them.

You can also whiten dark elbows and knees with a mixture made with equal parts of almond powder and yogurt.

This natural skin whitening remedy is also worth a try. Place 1 teaspoon each of Vitamin E, lemon juice, and glycerin in a small bowl. Add 4 tablespoons milk and mix all ingredients together until well combined. Lightly massage the paste on dark skin patches on your knees and elbows. Leave on for 20 minutes before washing off.

3.  Applying moisturizer every day is a must to heal darkened elbows and knees, and keep them hydrated, soft and smooth. You want to use moisturizers that contain ingredients, such as aloe vera, Vitamin E, jojoba oil, AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) or shea butter, to help reduce dark skin on your knees and elbows.

If you're looking for a not-so-expensive moisturizing cream or have sensitive skin, I'd recommend Eucerin and Cetaphil. You can also use olive oil, which is proven to have skin lightening properties due to the presence of linoleic acid.

Here's my suggestion – find 2 pairs of old socks, cut off the ends and position them over your elbows and knees after moisturizing before you go to bed. This locks in moisture and prevents it from being rubbed off while you sleep. Or, cover with a plastic wrap for 20 minutes and then remove.

 In addition to the above home treatments to whiten dark knees and elbows, it's also important to apply a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher when going outdoors. Excessive sun exposure not only accelerates skin aging but can actually worsen the appearance of dark skin patches on your elbows and knees.

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