9 Simple Tips to Help Treat Dry Skin on Elbows

Dry elbows can be a common problem, especially in the winter. Find out how to tackle those stubborn dry patches on the elbows with this handy guide.

Sometimes it’s the most neglected areas of the body that can be the most susceptible to dryness – the ones we often forget completely in our regular skincare routine. The elbows are a prime example, with a number of different factors making dry skin on elbows a common (and thankfully, treatable) issue.
 
Dry elbows are often a problem in winter when temperatures and humidity levels drop and deplete the skin of moisture, but this can happen at any time of the year. For instance, everyday behaviors like using harsh bathing products that strip skin of moisture can be one of the more avoidable culprits. Dry, flaky skin on elbows can also be caused by a variety of factors including genetics and a range of different skin conditions. Be sure to consult your doctor if you have concerns about your dry skin.
 
Dry elbows are often particularly uncomfortable because they’re constantly moving and bending. If you care for your elbows properly and keep them moisturized, the skin shouldn’t crack under the pressure of this constant movement. However, when your elbows are very low on moisture they lack elasticity, and so bending the arm can cause dry skin to crack as it stretches. To help avoid this, it’s a good idea to treat and soothe dry skin on elbows right away.
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How to Care for Dry, Flaky Skin on Elbows
  • 1
    Mildly Dry Elbows
    Exfoliate – Making your own exfoliating body scrub at home is simple to do and means you don’t have to buy a new product. You can try a common home remedy of a little sugar mixed into runny honey, which feels great when gently rubbed onto the elbows in circular motions. Exfoliate once a week to help remove dry and dead skin cells.    
     
    Moisturize & Heal – The key to taking care of dry skin on the elbows is to replace the moisture that’s been lost. Don’t forget to include elbows in your daily skincare routine, and use a moisturizer that’s specifically designed to help heal dry skin from within. Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Essential Healing Lotion contains glycerin to help replenish lost moisture and micro-droplets of Vaseline® Jelly to lock in moisture to help your dry skin to heal and break the cycle of dryness. 
  • 2
    Very Dry Elbows
    Deep Conditioning – Very dry elbows can benefit from daily moisturizing, as well as intensive cosmetic treatments that provide the essential moisture your skin needs. Apply Vaseline® Jelly to the elbows before bed for a deep conditioning overnight cosmetic treatment. Occlusive moisturizers, like Vaseline® Jelly, act as a barrier on the skin and seal in moisture to help rehydrate your skin and accelerate the skin’s natural renewal process overnight. Vaseline® Jelly is a skin protectant – it locks in moisture, but still let’s the skin breathe. 
     
    Awarded the National Eczema Association seal of approval as suitable for use by Eczema sufferers, Vaseline® Jelly is appropriate for people with eczema and other sensitive skin conditions that could contribute to dry elbows. Find out more about how to care for dry skin associated with eczema here.
     
    Be Gentle – Getting rid of dry, damaged skin on the elbows using a body brush may help to speed up the visual improvement of dry skin, but remember to be gentle. If you pull or tug at the skin, you could make the skin more likely to crack and become sore. After gently exfoliating, be sure to blot your elbows dry with a soft towel, rather than rubbing and apply a moisturizer. 
  • 3
    Cracked Elbow Skin
    Consult Your Doctor – If you have severely cracked skin on your elbows, it’s important to consult your doctor for advice. 
     
    Protect Your Elbow Skin – Apply a thin layer of Vaseline® Jelly to the area – the sealing barrier it provides locks in moisture and helps protect dry, cracked skin. 
  • 4
    Dry Skin Prevention Tips
    Avoid Triggers – Harsh soaps and skin care products may irritate the skin and cause dryness. Fragrance-free, non-irritating, hypoallergenic moisturizers and cleansers may help make prevent dry skin from getting worse. Also, products labeled as non-comedogenic won’t clog your pores. 
     
    Cool Off – There’s nothing quite like a hot bath in the evening, but bathing or showering in hot water could be making your dry skin worse. Hot water strips the skin of its natural oils, causing essential moisture levels to drop. To help prevent dry elbows, take cooler baths, or quick showers, and avoid soaking the elbow skin in hot water for long periods. If you do have a short hot shower or bath, it’s important to replenish moisture. Gently pat yourself dry with a soft towel and apply a good moisturizer to seal in moisture and help prevent the skin from drying out.  
     
    Cover Up – To prevent elbows from drying out in cold, windy weather, wear suitable clothing. Layer up to protect your skin and opt for thermals if you work outside or are planning on spending a long period of time outdoors. Also it’s a good idea to wear natural fibers, such as cotton, to help avoid irritation to the skin.
Dry skin on the elbows isn’t something we should ignore – take action and make sure the elbows are included in your skin care regime. Remember, regular moisturization and exfoliation are essential in helping you to maintain soft, healthy looking skin on your elbows.


The advice in this article does not constitute medical advice, it is solely available for information purposes.


Find more healthy skin tips and facts on the Skin Health page. >

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