The thick skin of the elbows tends to dry out quickly and may begin to take on an unsightly, lizard-like appearance, especially during the winter and other periods of low humidity. However, this problem, which often includes uncomfortable scaly skin and itchiness, is usually easily solved, often with simple home remedies.
Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate
Exfoliating is the first and most important step for getting rid of dry, itchy skin on the elbows. Exfoliate during every bath or shower when your skin is moist and warm, using a loofah, rough washcloth or exfoliating glove. Be gentle, especially if you use a pumice stone, because rough handling may exacerbate the problem. Pat your elbows dry when you step out of the tub, then rub in a few drops of olive oil to restore moisture.
Good Ol' Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly, found in nearly every medicine cabinet, is one of the best and cheapest ways to deal with dry, itchy elbows. Apply a thick layer to your elbows before you go to bed at night, then cover your elbows with stretchy tennis wristbands to keep the jelly where it belongs and not on the sheets.
In the Kitchen
There's something about the inside of a banana peel that may improve the feel and appearance of your elbows. Just rub the peel gently on the dry, itchy areas. You can also slough away dry skin on your elbows with plain, Greek yogurt, which contains lactic acid, or a mixture of equal parts brown sugar and oil. A drop of olive oil is a good skin softener not only after bathing, but any time of day.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.