We have always heard the phrase: “Beauty is skin deep.” Beauty is more about looking good on the outside and feeling great from within.
However, the more we get exposed to the elements and environmental stressors like UV rays, pollution, chemicals etc, the more our skin tends to get dark and rough, particularly on the neck, knees and elbows.
Our skin produces the pigment called melanin that gives it colour. Dark patches on neck, elbows and knees develop as a result of overproduction of melanin in those areas of our skin. These patches or spots can be due to sun damage, while healing of a wound or injury, or due to hormonal changes.
Usually, when we spot such a patch or discolouration, we rush to apply a dark spot removal cream without analyzing why it occurred. In this article, we try to understand the causes, the possible remedies and the ways to prevent the problem.
So, read on folks!
Why do Some of Us Get Dark Patches on Skin?
This problem of dark patches can affect anybody, but it is more common in dark skinned people as their skin is more melanin-rich. We tend to get dark spots and patches because something triggers our skin to produce extra melanin. Something as common as exposure to strong sunlight can cause excess melanin production, leading to dark spots on neck, knees and elbows.
Some common causes of dark spots or patches may be the following:
- Excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays causes the skin to produce extra melanin
- When acne heals, it leaves behind a spot or scar that happens due to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)
- When a wound or injury heals, it can leave dark spots or scars behind that later become brown or grey patches
- When chemicals in a skin or hair care product irritates the skin and an allergic reaction is triggered
- During hormonal changes, like pregnancy, puberty, childbirth etc., a skin condition called melasma can cause dark patches on the skin
- After effects of certain medications can cause skin darkening
Any of the above risk factors can lead to those unsightly dark patches and black spots on neck, elbows and knees.
So, before you tackle the dark patches, first understand why these are caused in the first place.
Dark Patches on Neck
It is natural that if your facial skin looks bright and clear and neck is full of dark patches or spots, you become self-conscious and try to cover it as much as possible.
Let’s find out what causes dark patches on neck and what types these are.
- A skin condition called Acanthosis nigricans can cause the neck skin to thicken and darken, making it look unsightly.
- Your skin gets too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays triggering over-production of melanin
- Hormonal imbalance or changes in the body
- Medical conditions
- You have neglected to follow proper neck hygiene
In general, dark patches or spots on the neck are harmless, and more of a cosmetic problem. If, however, your dark spots are indicative of a medical condition, then you need to consult a doctor to cure the condition first.
1. Avoid direct exposure to UV rays at all costs
Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen. It makes sense to avoid harsh sunlight that stimulates over production of melanin and leads to hyperpigmentation.
Wearing sunscreen while venturing out during daytime is a must. Apply a lotion with high SPF not only on your face, but also on your neck. Applying sunscreen of SPF 30 and higher that has Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, and that offers broad spectrum UV protection helps in preventing dark spots on neck.
If you have oily skin, and sunscreen lotions make your skin break out in allergies or acne, you can opt for the matte sunscreen gels from Re’equil, that are especially formulated for sensitive, oily, acne-prone skin. These are non-comedogenic (do not clog skin pores) and free from harmful chemicals like Oxybenzone and Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC).
Re'equil has a mineral sunscreen with Zinc oxide that forms a physical barrier between your skin and the sun’s harmful rays. It comes with a universal tint that suits all skin tones and leaves behind absolutely zero white cast. You get broad spectrum UVA, UVB and IR protection. Check out the Re’equil website for these sunscreens.
American Academy of Dermatology stresses that “once you eliminate what’s causing the dark spots and protect your skin from sunlight, (you can start using) a product that can fade dark spots.
2. Maintaining proper neck hygiene
Clean your neck skin with a mild cleanser and water, and keep it well moisturized. Use a moisturizing dark spot removal cream that restores the tone and texture of your dark, rough and scaly neck skin, while deeply moisturizing it.
3. Avoid harsh, chemical-laden skincare products
Look for products with natural extracts, and those which suit sensitive skin.
Apply Re’equil’s Unveil® Neck, Knee & Elbow Brightening Cream to even out the skin tone of your neck. With scientifically proven ingredients, this skincare solution works wonders in giving you brighter and smoother skin tone.
Adopt these measures and healthy skincare habits to keep away dark spots on neck.
Dark Patches on Knees
If you love to wear short dresses and flaunt your legs, unsightly knees can take away from the charm. Let us find out why dark patches on knees are formed.
- Dead skin pile-up on the knees
Lack of exfoliation can cause dead skin to accumulate on the knees causing thickness and discolouration.
- Sun damage
Over exposure to UV rays causes the skin to produce excess melanin, especially in medium to dark toned people.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis or acne, or a skin injury or wound can leave behind skin lesions and pigmentation on parts of your body.
Certain home-based natural remedies can provide temporary relief like rubbing potato slices or applying aloe vera on the affected skin. Over-the-counter creams that contain Niacinamide, Vitamin C, kojic acid or licorice extract can help in restoring skin tone. Prescription drugs that have Hydroquinone or Retinoids and steroids may help, but these should not be taken for a long time.
Chemical treatments like Laser therapy and Cryotherapy are extreme options that need to be conducted by trained medical personnel.
Since sun damage is the primary cause of dark spots on knees, using a sunscreen with high SPF on the knees would be beneficial. Use a sunscreen gel by Re’equil to avoid sun damage on the knees, and apply Re’equil’s Unveil® Neck, Knee & Elbow Brightening Cream to get softer and brighter looking knee skin.
Check out the Re’equil website for details of our sunscreen gels and our super-effective Vitamin C serum.
Dark Patches on Elbows
Wearing short-sleeved dresses becomes a problem if your elbows look dark and rough. This condition of black spots or patches on the elbows is generally not a serious one, though it does cause cosmetic discomfort. And unfortunately, dark-skinned people tend to suffer more, as their skin produces more melanin than lighter skinned people.
- Build up of dead skin cells
Neglecting to clean the elbows thoroughly or not exfoliating the skin here can result in the accumulation of dead skin cells that make the elbows rough and dark.
- Age spots
Sun spots or age spots are caused by sun damage. Using a sunscreen on the elbows can help avoid UV damage.
- Side effects of certain medicines
Consumption of birth control pills can cause dark patches on elbows.
- Psoriasis or other skin conditions
Skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, etc. can cause darkening of the elbow skin.
- Scar from wound or injury
When a wound, insect bite or injury heals, it leaves behind dark scars on the skin.
- Hormonal changes
Certain changes in hormones during pregnancy or due to other reasons can cause darkening of elbows. Excess of melanin production during pregnancy leads to melasma or spotting.
If a medical or skin condition is responsible for the dark patches (indicative by other discomforts or signs), do seek medical consultation first to treat the condition.
Dark spots or patches on elbows can be avoided to a certain extent. Proper skincare habits, using sun protection, and exfoliating and moisturizing the elbows with a dark spot removal cream can help prevent them.
So now, let us check out some ways of effectively preventing dark spots on neck, elbows and knees.
Home Remedies to Treat Dark Patches
Home remedies to reduce dark patches include applying any of the following:
- Green tea
- Aloe vera
- Oatmeal powder
- Citrus extracts (red orange extract, lemon juice)
These natural remedies work on some people, but their effectiveness is hardly proven through science.
Some topical treatments for reducing dark spots or black/brown patches are ointments or creams with hydroquinone or licorice, but these may cause irritation to the skin. As a last resort, you can get laser treatment done by a dermatologist, but that also has side effects.
Also, it is important to note that if these dark patches or spots are a result of some medical condition, you take medical advice to treat the condition first. Once your condition is cured, the dark spots may fade away on their own.
Lifestyle Changes to Improve Patches on Skin
It is best to go for some changes in your lifestyle, as well as in your skincare habits for long term prevention of dark patches. Using a dark spot removal cream can help in keeping these unsightly patches away from your neck, elbows and knees.
To sum up, some changes in your lifestyle and skincare habits can help in keeping dark patches away. These are:
Avoid harsh cleaning and skincare products
Chemical laden soaps, cosmetics and skincare products can cause allergic reactions and darkening of the skin. Use a mild cleanser and a dark spot removal cream with natural ingredients to restore even skin tone.
Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 + whenever you go out during day time
A mineral sunscreen with Zinc oxide or Titanium dioxide can effectively provide broad spectrum UV protection to your skin. Avoiding sun damage can prevent pigmentation and discolouration to a large extent. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen after every two to three hours.
Keep your neck, knees and elbows clean and exfoliated
Exfoliation of the skin is essential to remove dead skin pile up and soften the skin. Select a black spot removal cream that also exfoliates these areas of your skin.
Treat wounds or injuries in time
Get your injuries treated properly, and do not scratch wounds to avoid scarring.
Topical ingredients, that help diminish dark patches when used in skincare solutions, are:
- Ethyl Ascorbic Acid (an active form of Vitamin C)
- Citric Acid
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Daisy flower extract
- Mucor Meihei extract
- Pentylene Glycol
The Re’equil Unveil® Neck, Knee and Elbow Brightening Cream possesses advanced skin moisturising, exfoliation and brightening properties that can prevent dark patches and spots on these skin areas, if used regularly.
Re’equil – Your Answer to Skin Concerns
Re’equil combines scientific knowledge with natural ingredients to give you dermatologically tested, SLS and paraben free skincare solutions that are clinically proven to be effective. Our scientifically derived formulations are exceptionally good for your skin and hair, and completely gentle and safe to use.
At Re’equil, we develop solutions to repair your damaged skin and hair so that you regain your confidence and feel on top of the world.
Shine on with Re’equil!