I was giving way to traffic at a T-junction close to our house the other day when I couldn’t help noticing a young lady in red hot pants, a white blouse and red heels jumping out of a kombi.
She looked really nice to be honest. I wished I could lose a kilogramme or two to be able to pull off her look in public. But there was one thing wrong with the picture as she started walking closer towards me.
She had pitch black spots on her knees! It was quite bad. She wasn’t a “yellow bone” so skin bleaching couldn’t have been the reason she had such dark spots on her knees. I thought maybe years of doing house chores while on her knees had started to take a toll on her.
I mean, we’re Zimbabwean girls; we’ve had to go down on our knees and put our backs into it at one point or the other. I felt it was quite sad that her skin had been that badly affected. And to think this was such a vibe kill to an otherwise hot look was rather a train smash!
I know quite a lot of women have to deal with such dark spots but do we know what causes them and how they can be dealt with?
Black knees and elbows occur when there is a build-up of thick, dead skin caused by friction.
In some cases, it may just be dirt, but in others, it may be brought on by medication, hormone imbalance, or hyperpigmentation of the skin.
However, dirt is a major cause of dark knees and elbows. Often during a shower, we overlook the hard to reach places like knees and elbows. Over time, the dirt build up can penetrate into layers of dead skin cells that actually grow to protect your knees and elbows from friction and chaffing.
The layer of dead skin cells becomes even darker from the dirt stain, therefore it appears much darker than the healthy skin around the knees and elbows.
Be sure to scrub your knees and elbows thoroughly to remove dirt particles that may be hiding on the outer layer.
If your clothes rub or cause friction on your knees and elbows, moisturise those areas daily to keep skin from drying out.
Sunlight can cause dark knees and elbows to get even darker. Even though the skin cells are dead, the outer layer can still absorb sunlight. The dead skin cells are already dark and with exposure to the sun they will get darker. An even skin tone adds to your beauty and having dark knees and elbows can detract from it. This is a common issue that can make one self-conscious about wearing short-sleeve dresses and tops as well as skirts and shorts.
If you’re trying to get rid of dark spots on your knees and elbows, a sugar and olive oil scrub is a great way to both exfoliate and moisturise. Mix equal parts of sugar and olive oil to make a paste. Rub this paste on the affected areas for about five minutes. Rinse off and you’ll notice a big difference in the black skin on your knees and elbows.
The combination of lemon and honey is used in many home remedies and it will greatly help with dark knees and elbows. Lemon juice has natural bleaching properties and the honey will moisturise the skin helping to prevent further blackening of the knees and elbows.
The juice of one lemon and one tablespoon of honey should be mixed together and left on the skin for at least 20 minutes. Wash off this mixture and you’ll immediately notice your skin become lighter.
We know that lemons are a great bleaching agent. Tomatoes and grapes also contain bleaching properties that will help remove unsightly black spots from the knees and elbows. Rub the juices from these fruits regularly on black spots and you’ll notice them begin to fade with time.
Vinegar and yoghurt also work wonders. Mix a few tablespoons of vinegar with plain yoghurt and leave the paste to dry on the dark spots. When the paste dries up, rub it in a circular motion for a few minutes and then wash off. It works and will leave your skin soft, supple, and considerably lighter.
Baking soda also pops up in a lot of home remedies and black knees and elbows are no exception. To use baking soda for this condition, simply take one tablespoon of baking soda and mix it with some milk to make a paste. Scrub this onto the knees and elbows in a circular motion every other day until you see an improvement.
The baking soda will work to exfoliate and the milk will moisturise the skin.