Darker skin on the knuckles is a fairly common issue. It’s often associated with other conditions, most commonly obesity and prediabetes. If your dark knuckles aren’t a symptom of an underlying health condition, the darkened skin is likely not a cause for concern.
Common Household Items That May Help Lighten Your Knuckles Include:
- Baking Soda mixed with water into a paste and applied to your knuckles for 15 to 20 minutes
- Lemon Juice applied to your knuckles with a cotton ball daily
It’s a good idea to keep your knuckles and hands moisturized year-round. Also make sure to use sunscreen when you’re outside, even if your skin is naturally dark.
- Although moisturizer and sunscreen won’t lighten your knuckles, they can help prevent damage and irritation from the sun, cold weather, chemicals, and hot water.
Let’s get to it ok!
Dark knuckles mainly affect people of color. Meaning Africans, black Americans. It doesn’t matter if you’re light-skinned, as long as you’ve got Melanin, you can still have dark knuckles. If you do, you have probably bought lotions or creams which claim they clear up knuckles in days but the issue only got worse …What do you do?
Causes Of Dark Knuckles
There are several reasons our knuckles get dark and I’m going to outline them below;
- Bleaching/Toning creams -Yes, the usual culprits are those lotions or creams we buy to tone or bleach our skin.
For some reason, while it works on lightening the skin, it appears to make all the melanin concentrate on the knuckles, elbows, and knees.
- Skin conditions -Having skin psoriasis and eczema can cause dark knuckles.
- Exposure to harsh chemicals– Sometimes it is safer to put on gloves before engaging in cleaning activities which involve chemicals or strong detergents. Most of these chemicals result in dark knuckles
- Genetics –Yes, some things are just thanks to our mamas and papas..So are dark knuckles. I have seen ladies and even men who have never touched a toning or bleaching creams in their lives ,with knuckles so dark .
How To Get Rid Of Dark Knuckles Naturally At Home
We have listed tested and proven methods to clear or minimize your dark Knuckles.
- Exfoliate -Exfoliating is the first step to clearing dark knuckles. In fact, it is the first step in any basic skin care routine. You have to shed your skin of those dead cells to reveal a fresher you.
Exfoliate your hands and knees or whatever area you need to lighten.
Get an apricot based exfoliator like the cult classic, ST Ives or make a DIY sugar, honey and lemon home scrub.
- Go natural On affected areas-Do not think you can clear dark knuckles by bleaching the skin,what happens is your skin will get lighter making your dark knuckles more visible . If you are applying dark knuckle treatments ,concentrate on the knuckles only. That’s where you want to lighten, right?
- Natural oils-Get yourself a bottle of original, unprocessed coconut oil or Shea butter (you can get both)
I use the African Shea Butter by RA Cosmetics .It is as real as it gets.
Use it as your staple hand lotion .Whenever your hands need moisturizing, reach out for that coconut oil or Shea butter. It works wonders to unify your skin tone and clear scars and dark knuckles.
Diy Scrub For Dark Knuckles
- Lemon juice -Lemon juice should be your new best friend.
Make sure you rub some fresh lemon juice on your knuckles, preferably before you go to bed at night. It should be the last thing you do.
Mix a spoon of lemon juice , a spoon of honey and a spoon of sugar . Mix the contents and scrub the affected area for about 5-10 minutes . Rinse off.
Clearing Dark Knuckles With Baking Soda
Baking soda is a holy grail when it comes to skin care .
It is very effective for dark spots and acne.So it is only conceivable that baking soda would clear dark knuckles.
Mix baking soda and lemon juice to form a thick paste .Rub allover the knuckles and let it sit for 20 minutes .
Rinse off and follow with your coconut oil or Shea butter .
Do this preferably at nights when you are preparing to go to bed .
Remember ,consistency is key .So do this for about a month and see how clear your knuckles would become .
How To Avoid Cream Induced Dark Knuckles
I try out so many body lotions ,even ones which have strong toning ingredients. How do I keep my knuckles dark free?
I make sure I wash my hands after and slather on coconut oil or Shea butter. If I am too busy to wash them off, I just slather on my coconut oil. That would reduce the potency of the lotion which causes dark knuckles. Hope you enjoyed my simple steps on how to clear dark knuckles .
When To See A Doctor
It’s especially important to check with your doctor if your knuckles suddenly darken. This may be a sign of a more serious condition that needs immediate treatment.
If you want to lighten the skin on your knuckles, you can opt for home remedies or store-bought products. If these don’t work, you can ask your doctor about prescription treatments.
Sources-How To Get Rid Of Dark Knuckles Naturally At Home
- Puglia C, et al. (2014). Protective effect of red orange extract supplementation against UV-induced skin damages: Photoaging and solar lentigines. DOI:
- Srivilai J, et al. (2017). Curcuma aeruginosa Roxb. essential oil slows hair-growth and lightens skin in axillae: A randomized, double blinded trial. DOI: