What do ashy elbows mean? Dirt? A health concern? Read on to find out the causes of ashy skin on elbows as well as simple, safe home remedies that you can use to cure ashy elbow skin and get your natural skin back quickly without using harsh chemical products.
Ashy Elbows Causes
Ashy elbows indicate a buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of your elbow skin due to poor shedding of the same (exfoliation). They tend to occur more in people with darker skin (African Americans and people of African descent). Ashy skin is most often a result of dry skin, due to exposure to factors that rid the skin of its essential oils and moisture. Ashy elbows may be accompanied by other symptoms of dry skin such as itching, cracking, and looking and feeling rough, and skin tightness. Among the most common causes of dashy skin are:
- Use of harsh cleansers and detergents.
- Exposure to environmental and occupational irritants such as paints, chemicals, etc.
- Harsh weather conditions.
- Very hot showers leading to deprivation of skin moisture and oils
- Use of certain medications e.g. those for diabetes, psoriasis, and hypothyroidism
- Poor fabric choices
- Genetic predisposition to dry skin. Some people have genetic propensity to dry skin which may then cause ashy elbows
- Excessive exposure to sunlight
- Clothing made from harsh fabrics. Woolen sweaters may especially cause dry and thus ashy skin in some people.
- Excessive drinking of alcohol can lead to skin dehydration that ultimately show up as ashy elbows alongside other symptoms such as flaking and itching.
- Exercising without adequate rehydration to replenish the body fluids lost in sweat
- Friction from rubbing your elbows on a desk for example can also cause your skin to get dry, dark or ashy
- Aging: According to the WebMD, the skin turn gradually thin and parched as the clock ticks by due to hormonal level changes. The skin then tends to get dry, which could then cause ashy skin on the elbows.
Ashy Elbow Pictures
Below are more photos showing patients whose elbows have an ashy look:
How to Get Rid Of Ashy Elbows Fast, Home Remedies to Cure Ashy Elbows
Although not a serious health concern, ashy elbows are definitely a beauty concern. Who wants to look as though he spent the night with their elbows dipped in a pot of ash? Removing the dead skin cells through exfoliation is in most cases enough to make your elbows look clean again but you will also want to address the underlying causes of the ashy elbow skin. You will in particular want to address skin dryness.
Rather than use expensive over the counter exfoliating and skin moisturizing products, which are usually expensive and are chemical laden, you will want to use home remedies such as lemon juice and sugar scrubs to address the ashy elbows. Below is how to get rid of ashy elbows fast at home using these remedies.
Drink Plenty of Water to Get Rid Of Ashy Elbows
According to blackdoctor.org, the battle to cure ashy skin begins with adequate body hydration. Whilst age, weather, diet and other factor count in determining the number of glasses of water required for specific people, most doctors and health specialists recommend taking eight glasses each day. If anything, taking excess water won’t hurt your body but inadequate amount of it will.
Exfoliate with a Sugar Scrub
As already mentioned, exfoliating the skin to get rid of the dead skin cells accumulated on it goes a long way in curing ashy skin. A simple homemade sugar scrub is especially great for the purpose and can be prepared as and used as follows:
- Mix two teaspoons each of olive oil and sugar. Brown sugar is especially good for skin exfoliation.
- Rub the mixture on the elbows in gentle circular motions.
- Continue scrubbing your skin gently for 10 minutes or until the sugar fully dissolves.
- Wash your skin with mild soap and water.
- Apply a moisturizer.
- Repeat regularly to cure the elbows discoloration.
Coconut oil is an unmatched gift from Mother Nature when it comes to natural remedies for skin problems. It is richly nourishing and moisturizing to the skin when applied topically and will help to cure ashy elbows when used consistently.
- Get yourself a bottle of extra virgin coconut oil and apply it liberally to your elbows after shower every day to get rid of the ashy look.
- Alternatively, once or twice daily, mix 1 teaspoon of coconut oil with ½ teaspoon of lemon juice and rub the mixture onto the elbows. Allow it to stay on for 20 minutes before wiping it off with paper towel.
Lemon Juice for Ashy Elbows Removal
Also listed among the best home remedies for ashy elbows, lemon is an amazing natural exfoliant but at the same time can be drying to the skin. It can thus be counterproductive if used inappropriately for treatment of ashy skin on the elbows. You will want to use lemon juice as follows:
- Get a fresh lemon and cut it into two halves.
- Squeeze each half on each elbow and massage gently for five minutes.
- Allow the lemon juice to stay on for 20 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
- Finish by applying a moisturizing lotion to restore moisture.
- Repeat every other day until the ashy elbows get cured.
Lemon juice can also be used alongside honey to get rid of elbow “ashyness” as outlined below:
- Cut a lemon into two halves
- Squeeze its juice out.
- Add 1 tablespoon of honey and mix thoroughly to make a finely blended paste.
- Apply the paste on the elbows and leave it on for 20 minutes before washing it off with warm water.
- Because honey is a natural humectant, you don’t have to apply a moisturizer after using this remedy, especially if you have oily skin.
Yoghurt for Ashy Elbows Treatment at home
Yoghurt is also one of the best home remedies for ashy elbows. To start with it is rich in lactic acid which is a powerful natural exfoliating agent; thus it helps to get rid of the dead skin cells that cause the ashy look. Secondly, it is rich in fatty acids that moisturize the skin deeply.
Vinegar on the other hand contains acetic acid which helps to lighten the skin. It is especially helpful for dark, shy elbows. The acetic acid in vinegar is also helpful to itchy ashy elbows since it helps to normalize skin pH.
How to get rid of ashy elbows with yoghurt and vinegar
- Combine one tablespoon each of vinegar and yoghurt
- Mix the two to get a smooth paste
- Apply the paste on the affected areas of the elbows
- Leave it to dry and then wash it off with warm water after 20 to 25 minutes
- Finish by applying a moisturizer
- You will need to repeat daily for about a week to cure the condition.
This herbal healing properties of aloe vera are next to none. It is not only moisturizing to the skin but is also touted to have several skin healing compound that may be beneficial to damaged skin. It is especially helpful to dark, ashy elbows caused by excessive exposure to sunlight. As for how to get rid of ashy elbows with aloe vera, you may either use it alone or together with honey as outlined below.
- Cut an aloe vera leaf that is close to the ground.
- Squeeze the juice out and apply it to the elbows that require treatment.
- Leave the juice on for half an hour.
- Wash it off with water.
- Repeat this remedy regularly to cure ashy elbow skin.
- Mix equal amounts of aloe vera juice or gel with raw organic honey
- Apply the mixture to your elbows and give it 15 to 20 minutes to dry
- Wash it off with warm water and mild soap
- Repeat once daily to get rid of the problem.
More Tips to Prevent and Cure Ashy Elbows Fast
- No more hot showers and baths. Hot, very long showers steals your skin’s natural oils. If suffering from ashy skin on the elbows, it may be worth your effort to try using lukewarm instead of hot water.
- Switch to fragrance-free, odor-free cleansers and soaps and see if the ashy elbows go away.
- For skin moisturizers, use fragrance-free lotions or creams that are labeled for use on sensitive skin.
- Instead of woolen sweaters, beddings etc. switch to those made of natural fabrics such as cotton, silk etc.
These home remedies for ashy elbows are widely recognized for their healing action, but you may have to use them for a while before seeing the desired results. If they still don’t help to get rid of the condition, or you want to fix the problem quickly, you may instead look for over the counter creams.
It is also advisable to see a dermatologist if ashy elbows and the associated symptoms persist. The same applies to elbows that are extremely ashy that they get you worried. It may be an indication of allergies or other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Blackdoctor.org: Ashy Skin: A war that can be won
Mayo Clinic: Dry Skin