Knee and elbow discolorations are common, and they can affect all skin types.
It occurs most often in people with darker skin, as they are more likely to overproduce melanin, a condition known as hyperpigmentation.
Pigments look completely harmless, but some people want to lighten them to match the skin with the rest of the body.
And if the skin becomes itchy, peeling, or starts to burn for no apparent reason, you can consult a dermatologist at the Freshness Center for Dermatology, Cosmetology and Laser in Hurghada.
In this article, we will talk about the causes of pigmentation, and how it can be diagnosed? and different methods of treatment.
What are the pigmentation of the knee and elbow?
This is the term given to the appearance of dark areas in the knee and elbow, which are different from the normal color of the skin.
These pigmentations are not an indication of the presence of skin diseases, while it is possible to identify pathological conditions accompanying their appearance.
Causes of knee and elbow pigmentation
Pigmentation on the knee, elbow, and other parts of the body occurs when pigment-producing skin cells called melanocytes begin to produce too much melanin.
This results in spots on the surface of the skin ranging in color from gray to dark brown.
The reasons include:
- Accumulation of dead skin cells.
- Direct exposure to sunlight (one of the main causes of hyperpigmentation).
- Friction as a result of bending factors and contact with various objects.
- Some skin diseases such as eczema.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, including from burns or wounds.
- In some cases, dryness can be associated with the occurrence of pigmentation.
- Some medications may cause pigmentation as a side effect of taking them.
- Having some diseases such as autoimmune diseases, andMetabolic disorder.
Knee and elbow pigmentation diagnosis
The dermatologist at Nadara Center in Hurghada can diagnose the causes of pigmentation through medical examination, and the medical history of the case.
He may also order some medical tests so that he can determine the cause of the problem.
These tests include a skin biopsy by taking a sample and examining it under a microscope.
Knee and elbow pigmentation treatments
You should know that some skin lightening products can be very aggressive on your skin.
Some may cause moderate to severe irritation, or a higher sensitivity to the sun's harmful UV rays.
If you don't use these products as directed, they can lead to skin damage and increased pigmentation, making the initial problem a lot worse.
Caution should be exercised with creams and serums that contain the following substances:
It is an effective skin lightening ingredient, but it can cause an allergic reaction in the skin such as redness, and dryness especially in sensitive skin.
- hydrogen peroxide
Products containing this substance work to remove pigmentation in the knee and elbow, but sometimes they cause irritation and sores on the skin.
This ingredient has been shown to have good properties in changing the skin tone to even lighter shades.
But its frequent use may harm the skin, causing serious skin disorders or even mercury poisoning.
- topical treatments
Some of these over-the-counter medications may cause side effects such as stretch marks or thinning of the skin.
It can sometimes lead to bruising or problems with the adrenal gland.
Other treatments may speed up cell turnover and help lighten the skin without harming or negatively affecting the health of the skin.
The most common types include:
- Vitamin C
It has antioxidant properties, and may enhance the free radical-blocking effects of your sunscreen.
It also helps block the enzyme tyrosinase (the enzyme responsible for producing melanin in the body).
Vitamin A helps the skin look better. Frequent use gives effective results in reducing sun damage and uneven skin tone.
- Alpha hydroxy acid peels
These scrubs smooth the texture of the skin, removing accumulated dead skin cells.
The dermatologist advises a rejuvenation center in Hurghada to avoid rubbing the area of the knee and elbow pigmentation, because these scrubs are effective, but friction may make the matter worse.
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Methods of prevention
Be sure that the best way to prevent knee and elbow discoloration is to prevent it from happening.
So you can follow some instructions that contribute greatly to this, and they include the following:
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher.
- Avoid direct exposure to sunlight.
- Keep skin hydrated by using moisturizing creams that promote healthy skin.
- Avoid activities that may damage the skin through friction.
- You can use aloe vera gel that contains Aloesin, which effectively contributes to reducing pigmentation.
If you notice the presence of melanin in an abnormal proportion in other parts of the body, talk to a dermatologist at the Freshness Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser in Hurghada.
Unexpected darkening may be a sign of endocrine-related conditions such as Addison's disease.
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Knee and elbow pigmentation treatment permanently
You can get rid of knee and elbow pigmentation at the Freshness Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser in Hurghada under the supervision of a specialized dermatologist.
After a thorough medical examination, he will suggest some treatment options for you. Depending on the diagnosis, you can choose between different treatment methods.
Laser hyperpigmentation removal
The doctor exposes the pigmented areas to short pulses of highly focused light, which breaks down the melanin responsible for skin pigmentation.
The melanin is effectively absorbed by the body, which reduces the appearance of dark spots in the skin.
This type of treatment is fast and effective, and most people only need 3 to 6 sessions, over a period of 4 to 6 weeks.
Laser treatment for hyperpigmentation is suitable for most people and there is no harm in using it.
The sessions are not painful, but you may feel some very mild discomfort, so you can take some types of safe painkillers such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Depending on your skin type, you may notice some redness or swelling in your knee or elbow, but the symptoms go away in just 48 hours.
You may also notice that the treated area appears darker, but don't worry, skin peeling will occur that lasts for about 5 to 7 days after the sessions are over.
This is the normal effect of the treatment, as the melanin continues to be broken down and absorbed, then disappears after a short period.
Results may vary from person to person, and usually last more than a year.
You may need cold compresses for the first few hours after treatment to help reduce any discomfort.
You should follow some of the following tips to maintain results including:
- Avoid exposure to the sun after sessions.
- Do not scratch or peel the treated skin.
- Do not expose your body to hot water, or do strenuous exercise during the first 24 hours after treatment.
- Any type of heat therapy should be avoided for a day or two after sessions.
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Can chemical peels treat hyperpigmentation?
A chemical peel removes the upper layers of the skin by applying a chemical solution, so the skin that grows back becomes smoother.
And you may need several sessions to get the desired results when there is excessive pigmentation in the knee and elbow.
If you are exposed to the sun on a regular basis, exfoliation may not be the best treatment option.
There are some precautions that should be taken before the sessions and they include the following:
- Take antiviral medication
These medications help prevent viral infections before and after treatment.
- Use a local anesthetic
In the case of a deep chemical peel, you may need to use a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area.
- Use whitening creams
The dermatologist in Hurghada recommends using skin-lightening mixtures before or after the procedure to reduce the risk of side effects.
The extent of pigmentation reduction depends on the concentration and type of peeling used, in addition to the severity of the injury. The following peels can be used:
- glycolic acid peel
It is safe to use, does not cause any side risks, and is best suited for the treatment of superficial hyperpigmentation, as it does not penetrate deep into the skin.
It can also be used for people who suffer from dry skin at the site of pigmentation.
- Salicylic acid peel
This scrub has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it is well suited for dark spots caused by infections.
The acid showed good results in treating pigmentation with concentrations of 20-30%.
- Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) scrub
It can treat hyperpigmentation when used at a concentration of 10 to 15% for light pigmentation, while deep dark spots require a concentration of 20 to 25%.
- Lactic acid peel
It is used to treat pigmentation in sensitive skin, and it can be used in lower concentrations as it does not penetrate the skin.
Skin becomes red or irritated after exfoliation, so follow your doctor's instructions for sun protection. He or she may recommend applying a protective ointment like Vaseline to soothe the skin.
It can take several months before the skin color returns to normal and you can see the full results of the peel.
In conclusion, if you want to get rid of knee and elbow pigmentation, Freshness Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser in Hurghada is fully prepared to receive similar cases.