This is the worst time of year for people with dry skin on their knees and elbows… the cold temperature, the dry air, the terrible wind! They all conspire to make your skin itchy, flaky, dry, and cracked, especially on your hard-working elbows and knees. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. How to treat the dry skin on your knees and elbows? I can help. I’ve suffered for years before figuring it out (and getting some help from my dermatologist). Here are 8 tips to take care of dry skin on knees and elbows.
Whether you use an olive oil and almond scrub or a loofah with a light sugar scrub, it’s important to exfoliate well to slough off dead, dry skin cells. You need to pay special attention to your knees and elbows, of course. Be careful not to use anything too harsh, and don’t be overzealous in the scrubbing.
2. Avoid Hot Water
It’s so tempting to indulge in a long, hot bath or shower, especially when it's cold outside. However, the hot water can actually suck the moisture out of your skin, leaving you with dry skin on knees and elbows. Moderate the temperature to “more than warm,” and turn off the tap after ten minutes.
3. Protect Them!
It’s chilly outside, so this kind of goes without saying. But if you want to avoid dry skin on knees and elbows, you ought to protect them from the cold, windy, dry fall and winter air. Think long pants and soft long-sleeved tees, but no itchy wool.
4. Use an Emollient
I have terribly dry skin on knees and elbows, so I’ve started using a thick cream, like Aquaphor, every day. It’s not as creamy as a lotion, so it doesn’t absorb as quickly, but it works like magic on dry, cracked, itchy skin. Pick up a tube for less than six dollars at your local drugstore.
5. Apply Lotion after Showering
Your skin is most able to absorb moisture right after your bath or shower. So apply lotion, liberally, right after toweling off. Choose a lotion that’s extra-thick and creamy, and take the time to rub it in. If you can, apply again before bed, with an extra thick layer, and cover your knees and elbows with homemade absorption helpers. Cut the toes out of two pairs of socks, and slip them on over your knees and elbows.
6. Avoid Alcohol
Don’t worry: I’m not suggesting you give up wine. The alcohol that gives you dry skin on knees and elbows is hiding in our body washes, soaps, and lotions. Just check labels to make sure your skin care products don’t have any alcohol or other harsh, drying chemicals.
7. Don’t Stress
Among other things, stress can cause dry, itching skin… so figure out a new way to cope with the stressors in your life. Try yoga, running, meditation, or even changing jobs. Your heart and mental health, as well as the dry skin on your elbows and knees, will thank you.
8. Are You Allergic?
If the dry skin on your knees and elbows just won’t go away, or if it gets worse, see your doctor. You could have eczema, contact dermatitis, or psoriasis, all of which can be treated. You could also be having an allergic reaction to something, like your laundry detergent, body wash, or even your shampoo.
I hope my tips have given you hope, and a little inspiration… because it’s totally possible to go from dreadful dry skin on your knees and elbows to soft, silky skin all over! If you have dry skin on your knees and elbows, which of these tips have you found most helpful? Or do you have another idea to share?