Why Are My Elbows So Dark (Here is How to Fix It)

dark circles around elbows
MabelAmber / Pixabay

If you noticed that the skin on your elbows is too dark for your taste, there may be a solution. Of course, there are no such things as miraculous treatments that will fix everything in a second, but if you do have the patience, you can do it.

Why are my elbows so dark? You may ask yourself. Now, it is important to point out that the skin on your elbows are always going to be a little darker than the rest of your body, but if it is too dark, there may be something you can do.

The main reason people want to lighten the skin on the elbows is that the dark, opaque look makes it seem that you do not take care of your skin and body.

Also, the dark elbow skin results in an ugly appearance. That is why there are so many moisturizers in the market, trying to fix that.

There are many reasons why it is so dark. In this article, we are going to show you the main reasons that happen. With that, you can take action to fix it for good.


Now, it is common to think that everything has a simple, easy solution. For example, we all think that you can fix dark elbow skin by applying moisturizers.

That is the truth to some extent, but moisturizer is part of the solution, not the whole. If your elbows are dried out, I recommend bag balm moisturizer (available on Amazon) that is great for dealing with dry elbows.

Let us take a look at a couple of other possible reasons, and how to solve it. Here are the reasons why your elbows are so dark.


The main and most common reason your elbows are so dark is that of the friction applied over the area. When you wear certain clothes or when you touch with your elbows on the walls or any surface, you cause friction on that part of the skin.

That friction causes minor inflammations on the area. Then, what happens is that this process creates dead skin accumulation. The dead skin is darker than your healthy, alive skin.

Not only that but the dead skin that built up is thicker than your normal, alive skin. That is why your elbows take on a darker and thicker appearance.


The most common reason to “why are my elbows so dark?”, is plain old grit and dirt. Now this one might be a hard pill to swallow, but dirt can be one of the causes of dark spots on your elbow skin. Now, this is more common than you might think and it is not the result of bad hygiene exactly.

Here is what happens. When you do not wash the elbows properly during the shower, and that is common since those areas are hard to reach, the dirt accumulates over time in the dead skin.

This accumulation begins to create dark spots that soon become bigger areas. When this dirt gets absorbed into the dead skins, it becomes stains in them. This makes it much more difficult to get rid of them.

So, the best way to fix this is, obviously, making sure you clean those areas properly and making exfoliation to get rid of the dirt and the dead skin cells.


As you are going to notice the root of every problem will be dead skin cells that accumulate over time on your elbow. Those dead skin cells are inevitable to happen, but you can minimize their effect through certain skin treatments.

Now, another reason why your elbows are so dark is sunlight. Again, the dead skin cells, even though they are dead, can absorb sunlight. The problem is that instead of giving you a nice tan, it will give you this darker and uglier look.

With time, the dead skin cell become darker and darker, making the appearance of your elbows full of dark spots. The best way to prevent this, it is by treating the dead skin cell accumulation and also applying a lot of sunscreen on the area. A great sunscreen that is at SPF 60 is made by La Roche-Posay (available on Amazon).

Dry Skin

The dry skin is not just a cause of the darker skin elbows, but it is also an agent that makes the process of darkening the skin, faster. I will explain.

Dry skin is the result of lack of natural oils that the skin produces every day. When your skin is poor in the natural quantity of these oils, it becomes dry.

This dryness makes the skin from dead skin cells faster. Not only that, but the dry skin causes skin decay and an increase in the absorption of the air pollutants.

So, to fix this problem for good, make sure that you apply natural oils and moisturizers to your elbows every day. Depending on your skin’s current needs, you should apply those products twice a day or more.

Good Old Genetics

Dark skin formation on elbows and knees can be genetics. Obviously, if it is your case, you can still reduce it considerably if you take the right precautions.

So, the best way to know that is to observe those closest to you. Look at your parents and your siblings to see if this can be genetic. Also, if you have dark skin, you are more prone to develop those dark spots on your elbow. At the end of the day, you should worry about what you can control.

So, make sure that you do frequent exfoliation (I recommend the CeraVe Exfoliation cream), moisturizing, and any other preventive method you can find to make sure you do not develop those dark spots on your elbow.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are many different reasons why your elbows are so dark. The good news is there are also many different treatments that you can try it out and see what works for you. With those methods, you can finally get rid of those dark spots that are bothering you so much.

Just keep in mind that dermatological treatments do take some time. You are rarely going to see results immediately. You have to be patient.

With that said, go ahead and start yours. Also, do not forget to comment below and share this article with all your friends on all your social media accounts. Let us make the world get rid of dark spots on elbows for good.

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