Natural Ways to Reduce Pigmentation on Elbows and Knees

As a nation full of beautiful skin tones from dusky chocolates to golden tans, pigmentation of joints such as knees and elbows is a commonality shared amongst a lot of us. While there are various reasons for the occurrence, from genetics to sun exposure, the most common of all is the lack of moisture. But fret not, because these easy and natural remedies will give you even an even skin tone all around:

Aloe vera

One 2012 study suggested that aloe vera can lighten darkened spots . This is because of a process called alpha adrenergic receptor stimulation, which occurs when you apply the product to your skin. Look for gels or lotions with aloe vera, and apply up to twice per day.

Baking soda

Baking soda has both exfoliating and pigmentation lifting properties that may help treat dark elbows. Start by adding a teaspoon at a time with water to a bowl. Keep adding and mixing well until you have a desired amount of product. Then, apply directly to your elbows.

Treat the process as a face mask, where you leave the product on for about 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse off. Repeat twice per week. But avoid using baking soda on your face.

Citrus fruits

A 2014 study  suggested that oral supplements containing citrus fruit extracts were especially helpful in lightening dark skin patches due to sun exposure.

However, you can potentially reap some of the benefits by using lemons or other citrus fruits from your own kitchen without having to use supplements.

Simply squeeze the juices out of the citrus fruit into a cup. Then, use a cotton ball or wash cloth to apply the juice directly to your elbow. You may repeat this process daily.

Oatmeal and yogurt

Both oatmeal and yogurt have soothing qualities that can add extra moisture to dry skin. Like baking soda, these two ingredients work best as a mask.

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Combine equal parts oatmeal and yogurt until mixed well, then apply to your elbows. Leave on for up to 20 minutes at a time.


According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, turmeric powder may help a variety of skin conditions when used as a paste.

Mix the powder with water, and then apply directly to the elbows. Leave on for up to 10 minutes and then rinse off.

In the long run, to further protect your elbows and knees from sun exposure and pigmentation, it’s best to apply sunscreen whenever you leave the house. Take time to make sure you wash your elbows daily when in the shower or bath, and always follow up with a moisturizer. You can also put on a thicker moisturizing agent on top of your daily body lotion, such as coconut oil or aloe vera. In addition to moisturizing your elbows for softness, you’ll need to take steps to get rid of dead skin cells and prevent their accumulation. You can do this by exfoliating once or twice a week.

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