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One of the most common questions about the appearance of skin is, “why do knees and elbows become black?”.  The dark look of certain areas leaves many African Americans wondering why these dark patches even exist and how to fix the issue. The answer to this question lies within hyperpigmentation.  Hyperpigmentation is common amongst African Americans and persons of color and occurs due to an increase of melanin.

What Causes Hyperpigmentation? 

Knees and elbows are areas that become darker than others because these are areas of the body that experience frequent friction from bending. Hyperpigmentation can also happen during pregnancy, from the use of certain medications and as a result of several diseases, infections or conditions.  If you notice unusual darkening of the skin, consult your personal physician for more information and an official diagnosis of the cause.

How Do I Fix This?

The Truth About Dark Elbows & Knees was originally published on

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