Dry Elbows: Remedies, Causes, and More

Learn more about what really causes dry elbows and itchy elbows and whether you could be making it worse without realising it.


how to get rid of dry skin on elbows

› health › beauty-skin-careDry Elbows: Remedies, Causes, and More

If you’re using scented soap or body wash, you may want to consider going fragrance-free. Scented washes can often dry out your skin. If you want to switch to something new, you could even opt for a wash with added moisturizer.

If you notice your elbows feel especially dry or flaky after coming into contact with a certain fabric, it may be worth looking into. Limit your contact with the material and take note of your symptoms. If the symptoms lessen, the dryness may be the result of fabric irritation.

Although dry elbows can be uncomfortable, the symptoms are often only temporary. Tweaking your shower routine or trying a new lotion may be all that’s needed to hydrate your skin and lock in moisture.

Dry elbows can be the result of too much time in the water, so limiting the time you spend in the shower or tub may be beneficial. Lowering the temperature is also a must. Hot water can zap the moisture from your skin, so aim for a more moderate heat level.

For optimal results, apply Vaseline or another hydrating product to the area. This will help lock in moisture.

Thyroid problems

Thyroid conditions can disrupt the skin’s normal function. This can lead to dry skin on the elbows and other areas of the body. People may have scaly skin that cracks, or feels tough and waxy.

Other symptoms of thyroid conditions can include:

  • thinning hair
  • an itchy scalp and dandruff
  • brittle or crumbly nails
  • protruding eyes
  • According to the American Academy of Dermatology, people with diabetes are more likely to have dry skin. High blood sugar levels can cause dry, itchy skin.

    Other signs of diabetes that appear on the skin include:

  • patches that feel velvety, and are darker than the surrounding skin
  • thick, waxy patches on the fingers, toes, and other areas of the body
  • infections
  • slow-healing wounds, particularly on the feet
  • Sjogren’s syndrome

    Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune condition. It can cause dryness throughout the body, and dry skin is the most common skin symptom.

    Other symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome include:

  • dry eyes, nose, and mouth
  • fatigue
  • difficulty with memory or concentration
  • numbness or tingling in fingers and toes
  • gastrointestinal issues
  • People can help treat dry elbows with home remedies, moisturizers, and over-the-counter treatments. They should see a doctor if their elbows do not respond to treatment, or if symptoms get worse, such as:

  • open cracks and bleeding
  • sore or swollen skin
  • signs of an infection
  • a severe allergic reaction
  • If people have any additional symptoms alongside dry elbows, they can see a doctor who can check for underlying health conditions.

    Healthcare professionals may refer to dry skin as xerosis. To find the cause of dry elbows, they may take a full medical history and carry out a physical examination. Blood tests can also help the diagnosis process.

    People may have dry elbows for a variety of reasons, which are not usually serious. Treatments are often simple, though people may need to maintain them to prevent recurring dryness.

    Those who swim frequently, or live in hot, dry climates may need to take extra care to protect their elbows from dryness.

    If people have severe symptoms, or their dry elbows do not respond to home treatments, it may indicate an underlying condition. Once people begin to treat this issue, their symptoms may start to ease.

    Dry skin is a common condition, and the elbows can be prone to dryness. Dehydration, smoking, cold weather, and some laundry detergents can all cause dry elbows.

    A person who hydrates well, avoids irritating substances, and moisturizes regularly, help treat dry elbows.

    In some cases, dry elbows may indicate an underlying condition. If people notice other symptoms alongside dry elbows, they can see their doctor for a check-up.

    Last medically reviewed on July 27, 2020

    1. Merry and moist, not cold and dry

    Do you dream of sitting by the fire and walking in a winter wonderland, but are held back by the blistering cold that cracks your heels or the heat of the fire that dries out your skin? A lot of people feel pulled in two directions when it comes to these conditions and wintertime woes. The important thing to remember is that there are ways to trick old Jack Frost. You just need to stay one step ahead.

    One option is to get yourself a humidifier. Humidifiers can help temper the effects of an arid environment, whether it’s the dead of winter or a desert destination in the summertime. Research suggests that dryness and itching of skin significantly decreases with the use of a humidifier. If there is more humidity in the air, moisture is much less likely to evaporate from your skin. This will help the overall tone and texture of your skin, and also deal with those rough patches on elbows and heels.

    Why dO WE GET DRY elbowS?

    Dry elbows are more common than other dry areas of skin on the body, but why is this the case? It’s due to a couple of factors:

    how to get rid of dry skin on elbows

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