Tips to Lighten Dark Joints

Tips to Lighten Dark Joints (Knuckles, Knees, Elbows & Toes)

Skin of color is prone towards developing darkened skin around the knees, elbows, knuckles and toe joints.  The darkness is due to the type of skin that is around the joints. The extra skin in this area (which slightly bunches up when joints are extended) is necessary to allow for movement of the joints, so you might see darkness in the elbows, knees, knuckles, toes, heels and ankle bone.

Other causes of dark skin on knuckles, knees, elbows, and other joints include:

  • accumulation of dead skin cells
  • friction
  • sun exposure
  • certain skin conditions, such as eczema
  • post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation


To Keep Joints Looking Their Best

There is no permanent way to lighten dark joints because of continual movement and abrasion of skin.  The removal of darkened skin requires an ongoing routine of exfoliation, moisturisation, and treatment.  You want to keep skin moisturised because dryness can accentuate hyperpigmentation.

  • Gently cleanse the area. Avoid vigorous scrubbing and the use of harsh or abrasive cleansers and exfoliating agents.
  • Exfoliate gently to remove dead skin cells that may accumulate in knuckles and other areas.
  • Always follow with a good moisturiser.
  • Massage natural oils like coconut, olive, sesame and almond onto dark joints daily.
  • When using any skin lighteners, always remember to apply sunscreen on skin that will be exposed to sunlight.