How to Cure a flaking elbow

With the approach of winter and the skin seems to mimic the surroundings by getting cold and dry. The elbow is a part that is most commonly affected. We use the elbow a lot each day and are mostly unaware of it too. Even typing a very common email requires exercising from the elbows and also results in the elbow skin getting rubbed. Though not life threatening, a chapped and flaking elbow is a painful and annoying proposition. Here, we present some ways to care for yourself and solve the problem of flaking elbows.

Difficulty level

This can be labeled as ‘Moderate’. It requires a little knowledge and care. The good news is that this article itself can grant you that little knowledge.

Resources required

1. A moisturizer ( for instance Eucerin, Aquaphor or Cetaphil )

2. A loofah sponge

3. A humidifier

4. Natural fibers clothing

5. Medicinal ointment

6. Grape seed oil or almond oil

7. Soap for sensitive and dry skin (for instance, Dove or Olay)

8. Elbow protector

9. Time and patience!


1. It is imperative that the affected elbow is moisturized at least twice every day. Apply generous amounts of the moisturizer and gently apply it to the elbow and rub it in. This forms a protective barrier between the skin and the environment and thus keeps the skin from drying.

2. The hanging flakes of skin must be gently exfoliated. Even this must be done after applying the moisturizer.

3. Every night apply either grape seed oil or almond oil to the elbows.

4. Do not spend long time in the shower or the bath. Also, do not use hot water for this purpose. Both these will ensure that the skin does not dry out.

5. For the bath, use soaps that are specifically designed to counter dry skin.

6. Pay special attention to the elbows while having bath. Use a damp loofah sponge to work the soap lather in circles around the elbow.

7. Avoid using the air conditioners to the extent possible. The air conditioners dehydrate the skin and make it dry.

8. While wearing full sleeves clothing, ensure that they are made of natural fibers like cotton or wool. Synthetic fibers can sometimes cause irritation of the skin and worsen the problem of flaking elbows.

9. Wear the elbow protector to reduce exposure of the elbow to natural wear and tear.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do flaking elbows occur?

There are a variety of reasons why flaking of elbows can occur. These range from viral infections to skin injuries to nutritional deficiencies. However, dry skin and lack of proper moisturizing of the elbows is the most common cause.

2. Will the flaking of my elbows stop completely once I follow this regime? Can it recur?

This regime is designed to help you recover from flaking elbows. But if you have a dry skin or extra sensitive skin, there are all the chances of a recurrence. For such people, it is better if they make this regime a habit.

Quick tips

1. Though hot water will dry the skin, warm water will help in preventing your skin from drying out.

2. Moisturize your elbow when it is still a bit damp after the bath. This will help to retain moisture in the skin.

3. Exfoliate the skin using specially available exfoliating gloves to minimize damage to skin.

Things to watch out for

1. Be very careful when you exfoliate (remove the dead hanging skin or the flakes) your elbows. If not done properly, it can expose raw skin and cause great pain and bleeding sometimes.

2. There are times when the elbow may feel itchy. Never use your fingernails to scratch the elbows. Refrain from scratching for it will not help but make matters worse.

3. If you do not see much progress even after about two weeks, make it a point to meet your physician or skin specialist. The problem could be something else like psoriasis rather than just flaking elbows.

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