Dry elbows, hands, and feet are extremely common. Most of us have experienced dryness, dark coloration, or even itchy elbows from time to time. But for those of us who experience consistent, uncomfortable dry elbows, it can be a real nuisance. So why exactly does this body part seem to stay consistently dry?
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to why your elbows are getting dry, there are a few simple ways in which you can manage or even eliminate dry skin on your elbows, hands and feet.
Common Reasons for Dry Elbows
For the majority of cases, dry elbow skin is nothing to worry about. Our elbows have naturally low elasticity, sit directly on a joint (bone), and experience a significant amount of friction and physical abuse during the day. With this in mind, here are a few common reasons for dry elbows:
- Friction: likely coming as no surprise, the skin on your elbows experiences a greater degree of friction than most of your body. Whether this is from clothing, leaning on desks/tables, or even rolling around in bed. Mechanical friction can certainly lead to dry, cracked skin.
- Elbow skin produces less sebum (oil): since elbows are a high traffic area, our skin there is naturally thicker and also produces less sebum. Sebum naturally hydrates and lubricates our skin, and a lack of sebum may cause dryness.
- The same reasons the rest of your skin gets dry: elbows may be slightly different, but the root causes of dry skin anywhere may lead to dry elbows. These causes might include low humidity, sun exposure, smoking, alcohol use, dehydration, and more.
- Skin conditions may cause dry elbows: finally, common skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis may cause dry elbows. More on this below.
Are my Dry Elbows a Sign of a Skin Condition?
In most cases, no. Dry skin around the elbows is perfectly normal for the majority of individuals. Yet dry skin in any area can certainly be a sign of an underlying skin condition. So how can you tell the difference between regular dry skin and a more serious condition?
Psoriasis affects over three (3) million Americans every year. Psoriasis may be caused by a number of different factors including genetics, stress, skin injury, reaction to certain medications, or a symptom of an infection. Symptoms may include dry skin, flaky skin, scaly skin, joint pain, depression, and more.
Eczema actually refers to a set of skin conditions which may occur anywhere on the body. Symptoms generally include skin dry, itchy skin, redness, swelling, dark spots, and more. Eczema may be temporary or chronic. The most common form of chronic eczema is known as atopic dermatitis.
If you or a loved one suspect you may be dealing with a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema, speaking with a qualified healthcare professional is always a great idea.
Moisturizing Products for Dry Elbows
So far we have covered some of the reasons why your elbows might be dried, cracked, and chapped, but what exactly can you do about it? Short of living in a bubble, the environmental factors which cause elbow dryness will probably persist. The question then becomes, what moisturizers actually work for dry elbows?
Dry, cracked elbows require a powerful moisturizer that works to repair, restore, and renew your skin. Look for a daily moisturizing cream which uses specially curated ingredients like essential amino acids, glycerin, stearic acid, and more without unnecessary filler.
Since elbow skin is particularly thick, it is important to find a product that penetrates deep into the skin to deliver needed nutrients and repair damaged skin from within. Where many products merely cover up skin dryness, high quality moisturizers nip skin dryness in the bud.
Easy Tips to Prevent Cracked, Damaged Elbow Skin
There are a few simple tips to keep your elbows from drying as quickly, as severely, or at all. These tips include:
- Remaining conscious about resting on your elbows. Whether you are sitting at a desk or lying on the floor, not using your elbows as a kickstand is perhaps the best way to avoid unnecessary, damaging friction.
- Remember to wash your elbows. Elbows can be a victim of the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. Since they are so sensitive, gentle cleansing with natural soaps is important for skin health.
- Avoid lengthy, hot showers. Long, scalding showers can dry out skin all over your body, but even more so for elbows.
- Use an effective moisturizer. Last but certainly not least, choosing and using a powerful moisturizing cream for your elbows can make the difference between dry, uncomfortable skin and healthy skin.
HEFF Offers Powerful Relief for Chapped, Cracked Skin
HEFF is proud to offer one of the most powerful moisturizing creams on the market today. Our unique blend of amino acids and other hand picked ingredients was developed by a team of chemists, doctors, and researchers to repair, restore, and renew damaged skin. Our hand, elbow, and foot cream has been used by US service military men and women across the globe. For every bottle sold, we donate a bottle to an active military member or first responder through our ongoing relationship with the Operation Gratitude Foundation.