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  • 6/20/2013

Home Remedies for Dry Itchy Skin on Elbows

cracked & dry elbow

 

Why your elbows are dry

There are many possible reasons for why your elbows may not be as silky smooth as they once were. Do you spend a lot of time in the pool? Chlorine could be the culprit. Are the temperatures starting to drop where you live? Cool, dry weather may be sucking the moisture not just out of the air, but also out of your skin.

Dry elbows can also be the result of run-of-the-mill skin irritation. This may be caused by the ingredients in certain soaps, perfumes, and lotions. Hot baths or showers can also dry out your skin.

In some cases, dry skin may be a sign or symptom of an underlying medical condition. This includes eczema and psoriasis.

No matter the cause, there are steps you can take to help your elbows return to their natural smoothness. Here’s how.

Use mild cleansers. If you're suffering from dry, cracked elbows or dry skin in general, it's important to avoid harsh soaps and cleansers, which can further dry out your skin. Choose a product which is formulated for dry skin.

Avoid fragrances and dyes. Fragrances and dyes are often irritating to the skin and can cause further redness and dryness. Choose cleansers and moisturizes which are fragrance and dye free.

If you're having trouble sorting through selection at the drugstore, try looking for products designed for babies. They are typically much milder and are often fragrance and dye-free.

Be gentle with your skin. Don't over-exfoliate; scrubbing your skin too roughly will only further strip your skin of important moisturizing oils. It's recommended that you use your hands or a soft washcloth to exfoliate. 

Choose your moisturizer carefully. An important step to curing your cracked and dry elbows is to properly moisture and smooth them out. Not all moisturizes are created equally, though.

• Products with ceramide and hyaluronic acid will help your skin retain moisture. 

• Products with dimethicone and glycerin are useful for drawing water to the skin. 

• Products with lanolin, mineral oil, and/or petroleum jelly are also recommended and are excellent at helping you retain water. 

• Look for lotions with lactic acid; beyond moisturizing your elbows, the lactic acid gently exfoliates your flaky skin. 

Apply your moisturizer (fragrance and dye-free) immediately upon getting out of the shower. Don't dry off completely; it's better to apply lotion while your skin is still damp.

Guard against the outside environment

When the weather changes, so do your skincare needs.

For example, getting too much sun can dry out your skin, especially on your elbows. If you plan to be in the sun for an extended period of time, be sure to apply fragrance-free sunscreen and wear protective clothing. For optimal protection, reapply your sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.

Extremely cold temperatures can dry out the skin on your elbows, too. If you’re in a cool, dry setting, be sure to apply moisturizer and keep your elbows covered.

Try natural food scrubs and lotions. Your dry, cracked elbows may find relief from a variety of home remedies starting in the kitchen.

• Use yogurt on your elbows. Yogurt is high in lactic acid, which will gently help exfoliate your flaky skin. Leave on your elbows for up to 15 minutes. 

• Try using organic honey on your ailing elbows, which has long been lauded as an excellent remedy for dry chapped skin. You can mix the honey with your yogurt spread (above), or apply straight to your elbows. 

• Treat your elbows with lemon. The citric acid in lemon can work to lighten the dark and dry skin on your elbows, and will also help to gently exfoliate.

• Use natural food oils, like olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil as a moisturizer. Apply these straight to your elbows for a long-acting dose of moisture.

Cover your elbows after moisturizing. After you've applied your moisturizing lotion or oil, cover your elbows with soft tube socks (cut off the toes and the tight elastic). This will help protect your elbows as you sleep, keep the product from rubbing off, and lock in the moisture as you sleep.

Limit hot showers. Fewer things are more relaxing than a long, hot, steamy shower, but hot temperatures, and indeed exposure to water, have a drying effect upon our skin.

• In order to maintain your skin's natural protecting oils, it's best to keep your water temperature on the cooler side.

• Try to keep your bathing time as short as possible, 5-10 minutes top. 

Limit time spent swimming. Swimming is an excellent source of exercise, but the exposure to harsh chemicals such as chlorine can contribute to your dry skin. You should either limit your time in the water or avoid it altogether until you are able to heal your dry skin.

Stay hydrated. In order to treat your dry skin and elbows from the inside out, be sure to drink plenty of water.

Change your diet. Foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help protect our skin from harsh environmental factors and bolster our oil-protecting barriers

  Some Fishes such as salmon are excellent sources of Omega-3.

    Walnuts, and flaxseed are similarly good sources of Omega-3 and are relatively easy to add to your diet.

    Before making any changes to your diet or taking fish-oil supplements, you should of course consult with your physician.

Brown Sugar

Mix ¼ cup of brown sugar and 1/8 cup of olive oil to make a sugar scrub to treat dry elbows. Massage the remedy into elbows and wash off after 30 minutes. You can also mix one tablespoon of brown sugar with a ¼ cup of honey to make a weekly exfoliating remedy.

Aloe

Apply the gel from an aloe plant on dry elbows to encourage healing and soothe irritated skin.

Lemon and Baking Soda

Combine fresh lemon juice and baking soda to create a thick paste that is applied to dry elbows. Gently rub in the remedy to exfoliate the skin. Allow the ingredients to sit for around 15 minutes. Wash off, and follow up with an application of Vaseline.

Honey

After exfoliating or scrubbing dry elbows, apply honey to soften and heal the skin. Leave on for 30 minutes before washing away.

Butter

Try melting a small amount of butter in the microwave for a quick fix for dry elbows. Massage into the skin to see results.

Cold Compress

When the dryness and itchiness of dry elbows get too much, apply a cool compress. One way to soothe the skin is to rinse a washcloth in cold water, wring out, and apply directly to the elbows.

Don’t Scratch

Resist the temptation to scratch dry elbows to avoid inflammation and redness. Constant itching can also lead to infection.


Sources:

healthline.com

wikihow.com

homeremediesfor.com


Other links:

What Are the Different Ways to Treat a Jammed Finger?

Best Ways to Ease Knee Pain

How to Get Rid of Hangnails Fast

 

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