How to lighten elbows: Tips for brighter skin

Dark and rough elbows not only affect the appearance of your skin but can also cause discomfort and embarrassment. In this article, we will provide you with some practical tips and tricks to lighten your elbows naturally and effectively.

Why Do Elbows Get Dark?

Before we dive into the tips, it is essential to understand the reasons behind dark and rough elbows. There are several factors that contribute to darkening of elbows. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Excessively dry skin
  • Frequent rubbing and friction
  • Buildup of dead skin cells
  • Sun exposure
  • Genetic predisposition

Understanding these factors can help you prevent further darkening of elbows and lighten them effectively.

Home Remedies to Lighten Elbows

1. Exfoliate Regularly

Exfoliating your elbows regularly can help remove dead skin cells and reveal the brighter and smoother skin underneath. You can make a natural scrub at home by mixing equal parts of sugar and olive oil. Gently massage the scrub onto your elbows for a few minutes, and then rinse off with warm water.

2. Use Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains natural bleaching agents that can lighten darkened skin. Squeeze some lemon juice onto a cotton ball and apply it to your elbows. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then rinse with cool water. Do this two to three times a week for best results.

Note: Do not apply lemon juice on broken or sensitive skin as it may cause irritation.

3. Apply Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an excellent natural moisturizer that can help hydrate and lighten dry, rough elbows. Massage a few drops of coconut oil onto your elbows before going to bed and leave it overnight. Rinse off with cool water in the morning. Repeat this every night until you notice a visible difference in your elbows.

4. Try Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural exfoliant that can help slough off dead skin cells and lighten darkened elbows. Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with a few drops of water to form a paste. Gently massage the paste onto your elbows for a few minutes, and then rinse off with warm water. Use this remedy twice a week for best results.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Dark Elbows

1. Moisturize Your Skin

Keeping your skin hydrated is essential to prevent dryness and roughness that can lead to dark elbows. Use a good quality moisturizer on your elbows regularly, especially after showering or bathing.

2. Wear Protective Clothing

Frequent rubbing and friction can also contribute to dark and rough elbows. Wear long sleeves or protective clothing while engaging in activities that cause your elbows to rub against surfaces.

3. Apply Sunscreen

Exposure to sunlight can cause hyperpigmentation and darkening of skin, including elbows. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on your elbows before stepping out in the sun.

The Bottom Line

Lightening dark elbows may take time and effort, but the above tips and remedies can help you achieve the desired results naturally and effectively. Additionally, following preventative measures can help you avoid further discoloration and maintain brighter and smoother elbows.


1. Can I use commercial skin lightening products to lighten my elbows?

While commercial skin lightening products may seem like a quick fix, they can be harmful and may cause skin damage if used excessively or incorrectly. It is always better to opt for natural remedies and preventative measures to avoid any adverse effects.

2. How long does it take to lighten dark elbows?

The time taken to lighten dark elbows may vary depending on the severity of discoloration and the effectiveness of the remedies used. Generally, with regular use of natural remedies and preventive measures, visible results can be seen in three to four weeks.

3. Can genetics play a role in darkening of elbows?

Yes, genetics can play a role in the skin’s natural pigmentation and can contribute to darkening of elbows. However, following proper skincare routines, and natural remedies can help keep elbows lighter and smoother.


  • Semenya, S. S., Potgieter, M. J., Potgieter, H., & Bester, M. J. (2015). A Review of the Therapeutic Effectiveness of Using Topical Remedies in Lightening Skin (No. 2015). International Conference on Economics, Management, and Social Study (ICEMSS 2015) (pp. 109-117).
  • D’Angelo, G., & Jacot, T. A. (2019). Anatomy, Skin (Integument), Elbow. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

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