Dark knuckles are one of the common embarrassing problems that many people deal with. Several factors may be responsible for your dark knuckles. The main reason is the melanin that forms in the body, which causes hyperpigmentation. Melanin formation is caused by over exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun.
Dark knuckles may also be caused by hormonal changes in the body, use of chemical-based products, accumulation of dark cells, and work or sports that cause excessive friction on the knuckles. Some skin diseases can also give the knuckles a discoloration, such as eczema and psoriasis.
There are many simple and effective home remedies to treat dark knuckles.
Lemon and Sugar Scrub
Exfoliating your hands gently with a homemade lemon and sugar scrub can help lighten the tone of your skin by getting rid of dead cells from the surface of the skin.
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Lemon helps to get rid of dead skin cells and improve overall skin tone. It also helps new cell growth. The sugar granules help exfoliate dead skin cells and soften the skin.
- Sprinkle some sugar on a halved piece of lemon. Scrub your knuckles with it. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Repeat this process once a week.
- Alternatively, mix equal amounts of lemon juice and sugar. Apply it on your hands and feet. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes, then scrub off the paste. Rinse off the rest with water. Repeat this once or twice a week.
Caution: Avoid exposing your skin to direct sunlight for at least 1 to 2 hours after using lemon.
Coconut oil is a good home remedy to get rid of dark knuckles. It contains vitamin E which can help lighten the skin tone and prevent dryness by keeping the skin moisturized.
READ ALSO: Can Coconut Oil Help Psoriasis Symptoms?
A 2004 study published in Dermatitis reports that coconut oil significantly improves skin hydration and was just as effective as mineral oil.
- Rub extra-virgin coconut oil all over the knuckles and massage the area at night before going to bed. Repeat this daily until you see improvement.
- You can also prepare a mixture with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and ½ teaspoon of lemon juice. Rub this oil on your dark knuckles and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes. Wipe it off with paper towels. Do this once daily.
For skin that has been damaged due to excessive exposure to sun, aloe vera is a great remedy for restoring such skin. It works as an effective sunburn salve, due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized.
A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Pharmacognosy reports that aloe vera may suppress the release of melanin and reduce pigmentation.
- Extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf
- Apply it on the affected areas
- Leave it for 20 minutes.
- Rinse it off with warm water.
- Repeat 1 or 2 times daily for a few weeks.
Caution: Avoid sunlight exposure after using aloe vera on the skin.
The lactic acid in yogurt works as a bleaching agent that helps in lightening skin color. The lactic acid can also get rid of the top layer of dead skin cells. Also, it can fight dry, scaly or darkened skin and help keep the skin moisturized.
- Apply some plain yogurt on your darkened knuckles and massage for a few minutes. Allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off with plain water. Use this remedy once daily.
- Alternativly, blend equal amounts of yogurt and rose water, then mix in 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin. Massage your hands with it until fully absorbed. Leave it on overnight and rinse it off with cool water the next morning. Repeat once daily before going to bed.
Turmeric works as an effective skin lightener. It contains a potent antioxidant called curcumin, which helps lessen the melanin production in the skin and remove discoloration. This bright yellow spice also helps maintain an even skin tone.
READ ALSO: How to use Baking Soda for Skin Whitening
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology reports that turmeric may help protect against sun damage when added in a cream. Turmeric may improve the skin’s hydration and natural protective oils.
- Combine 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder with enough cold milk to form a paste. Apply it on the dark knuckles and allow it to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Repeat this 1 or 2 times daily.
- Another way to use turmeric is to mix 2 teaspoons each of turmeric powder and olive oil to form a fine paste. Apply a thin layer of this paste on your hands. Rinse off the paste after 10 minutes. Do this 3 times a week to see results.
Caution: Avoid direct sun exposure after using any turmeric remedy on your skin.
Orange peels can also be used to lighten the dark skin of your knuckles, because they contain skin-lightening and exfoliating properties. The good amount of vitamin C in them works as a natural bleaching agent and helps treat hyperpigmentation.
- Put some orange peels in the sun for a few days until they dry out completely.
- Grind the dried peels into powder form.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of powdered orange peels with enough rose water to make a thick paste.
- Apply the paste on your knuckles and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes.
- With wet hands, scrub off the paste.
- Finally, rinse the area with cold water.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times a week.
Almond contains vitamin E which helps to brighten your skin tone by reducing the pigmentation. You can use both almonds and almond oil to maintain an even tone on your hands.
- Massage the darkened area of your hands with almond oil before going to bed. Allow it to remain for the course of the night and rinse your hands in the morning. Do this on a daily basis.
- Another way to use almond is to soak 3 or 4 almonds in milk overnight. The next morning, grind them to make a paste. Add 1 teaspoon each of turmeric and olive oil to the paste and mix again. Massage this paste on your dark knuckles, allow it to sit for 15 minutes and then wash it off with cold water. Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a week.
You can use gram flour to naturally lighten dark knuckles. Its rough texture helps to remove dead skin cells and reveal the new and nourished skin underneath.
- Whip up a paste by mixing 1 to 2 tablespoons of gram flour with plain yogurt or just water. Slightly dampen the knuckles area, then smear on the paste. Keep the paste on for 20 to 25 minutes before scrubbing off the paste and soaking your knuckles in warm water. Do this 3 times a week to naturally lighten dark knuckles.
- Also, you can put 3 tablespoons of gram flour, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of milk in a bowl. Mix all the ingredients together, apply this paste on your knuckles. Wait 15 minutes, then scrub it off and rinse with lukewarm water. Use this treatment 2 or 3 times a week.
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