Is there any fix for dark elbows and knees?

Hi Dr Irwin, is there any laser treatment for the dark knees and dark elbows? If not what is your advice in treating these tow conditions?

I have to admit there is no perfect solution for this but there is improvement.  Here’s how:

  1. Skin, if it’s rubbed, will generally thicken and darken.  Try to avoid rubbing  – so no loofah or any scrubs in the shower, no crawling on the floor and be careful about rubbing the elbow on table tops.
  2. The hydroquinone creams used for melasma – more info here – will help.
  3. A moisturizer that gently encourages sloughing like Amlactin or the Neostrata 10-15% lotion may help.
  4. No exposure to the sun without a zinc (at least 10%) sunscreen.  Sun causes pigment.
  5. Alpha or beta hydroxy peels if not too aggressive may help.
  6. The Fraxel Dual laser may be helpful (go to a board certified dermatologist if you are interest in this option) 
  7. Remember that any of these could make the problem worse if they cause irritation.  Stop any product if you’re not sure and see your doctor!

Hope this helps,

 Dr. I


Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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