If you are a human being, you have probably had dry skin on your elbows at least once. While most of us experience dry skin on our elbows as something innocuous, the condition can become itchy, irritating, and even downright painful. Many men go through life putting up with discomfort because we are too stubborn to do anything about it. Believe me, we get it. But when it comes to cracked, dry, and damaged skin on the elbows, the solution is dead simple. All men should be using moisturizer once per day for hands, elbows, and feet. When it only takes a few seconds, what do you have to lose?
With this in mind, today we will discuss what makes our elbow skin unique, common causes of dry elbows, how moisturizers work to moisturize rough elbows, and some simple ways to improve your skin health moving forward.
Why is Elbow Skin Different?
Much like the soles of our feet, elbow skin is fundamentally different from the skin found on the rest of our bodies. This is due to a few key factors:
Elbow skin is thicker than normal. This one is probably obvious when you feel the skin on the outside of your arms. There are more dead skin cells and more layers of the epidermis, causing the skin to be thicker than other body areas.
Elbows produce less natural sebum than other body parts. Your body produces a natural oil called sebum, which is used in part to hydrate and moisturize skin. The elbows have fewer sebaceous glands, which means your elbow skin will be more likely to dry out.
Elbows tend to take a beating. Last but not least, your elbows are fairly exposed. Not only are they routinely stretched and contracted by our natural movements, but they also get scraped, bumped, and nicked at a relatively high frequency.
Common Causes of Dry and Cracked Elbows
Beyond the above reasons, the causes of dry elbows tend to remain in line with causes of dry skin elsewhere on the body. Some of the most common causes of dry elbow skin include:
- Changes in temperature and/or humidity: no, you’re not imagining that your skin gets drier in the winter. Lower humidities and dropping temperatures can wreak havoc on your skin, particularly when it comes to moisturization.
- Exposure to excessive high heat: while standing next to a hot fire can do the trick, most of us probably experience this more when we take a long, hot shower. Ironically, getting wet can do more to dry out your elbows than just about anything.
- Using irritating skincare products: soaps with synthetic fragrances, detergents, and antibacterial soaps can all sap moisture from your skin.
- Common skin conditions: individuals with common skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis are much more likely to develop dry and damaged skin around the elbows.
Moisturizers for Rough Elbows
As we discussed in previous sections, the elbows are truly a unique beast when it comes to skincare. Elbows tend to be thicker and more malleable than other skin, which necessitates a moisturizing product which is formulated specifically to address dry, cracked, and rough skin. As with all moisturizing products, the efficacy begins and ends with the quality of the ingredients.
Elbow skin is best managed with moisturizers which use all three of the pillars of moisturization: occlusives, emollients, and humectants. These three ingredients work in tandem to create a moisture locking seal, restore skin from within, and actively draw water to the surface of the skin. This allows your elbow skin to bounce back naturally and remain healthy even through rigorous activities.
Simple Tips for Dry, Scaly Elbows
Moisturizers are the cornerstone of any plan to keep elbows healthy and hydrated. Yet there are a number of simple ways to change your daily habits to improve elbow skin health and hydration, including:
Cutting back on shower time and temperature: those 30 minute long showers where you run through things you could have said to your boss instead of just walking away are great for your psyche, but bad for your skin health. Excessively long and hot showers sap skin of moisture, particularly in areas like the hands and elbows.
Choosing your shirts wisely: your shirt is likely rubbing against your elbows as we speak. This can cause skin irritation in one of two ways: 1. By mechanically straining against skin and 2. With irritants such as chemicals, fragrances, and more which is in your clothing. Consider looser fitting, natural materials for improved elbow skin health.
Protect elbows from harmful environmental factors. finally, sun damage, heat damage, and general scrapes and bruises can all impact your elbows’ ability to heal themselves. Cover up and take care of your skin to lessen the likelihood of painful and itchy dry skin.
HEFF Offers Elbow, Hand, and Foot Relief for Men
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.