How to Get Rid of Dry, Scaly and Chapped Elbows

By Kimbry Parker

Dry, chapped and scaly elbows are not only uncomfortable, they can be downright embarrassing. As with the skin on your hands, legs and feet, the skin on your elbows becomes dry from environmental factors, water, inadequate hydration and even just genetics. In addition to moisturizing with store-bought products, there are home remedies that can help relieve elbow dryness. Learn how to take care of your elbows to eliminate dryness and reduce the chance of recurrence.

Pain in elbow
credit: Hlib Shabashnyi/iStock/Getty Images
Apply moisturizer immediately after drying your skin.


Use an exfoliating scrub on your elbows at least once a week to keep them soft and smooth. Exfoliation allows a fresh layer of skin to be exposed and helps moisture seep into skin cells. Choose a scrub containing tiny exfoliating beads or make your own by mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Scrub your elbows in a circular motion to effectively eliminate the dry skin.

Moisturize Correctly

Moisturize with a cream or ointment rather than a water-based lotion. Look for ingredients like jojoba oil, shea butter, olive oil, lanolin, glycerin or mineral oil in the product you choose. Emollient creams provide a barrier on the skin to help lock in moisture and tend to be less irritating to the skin than water-based lotions. Apply moisturizer to your elbows every day right after drying off from showering to trap the moisture in the skin. Reapply before bed.

Home Remedies

Rub a banana peel in a circular motion over your elbows every day. The vitamin C in the peel promotes healing. Slather petroleum jelly onto your elbows right after showering, then again right before bed. Cut the toes off an old pair of socks and slip them over your elbows while you sleep to help the petroleum jelly seep deep into the skin.

Prevention Tips

Keep the amount of time spent in the shower or bath to a minimum -- five to ten minutes -- and use lukewarm water. Hot water tends to dry out your skin further. Give your elbows a break by not leaning on them too much, which can irritate the skin and lead to chapped, scaly patches. Choose body soaps and washes that are fragrance and dye free and gentle on the skin. Blot your elbows dry with a towel after showering rather than rubbing.