How to treat dry knees and elbows

Updated February 21, 2017

Its no wonder knees an elbow get so dry and rough during the winter; they're one of the most used parts of the body helping you bend, kneel, and lean throughout the day. All this wear causes a build-up of dead skin that can thicken and dry, causing rough scaly skin that tends to discolour quickly. With a little time and care, you can get rid of dry knees and elbows and restore them to silky, soft skin within days.

Soak in a warm sudsy bubble bath for 1/2 hour to soften dry knees and elbows. Scrub the area lightly with a mild soap and rinse clean with clear water. Pat dry with a soft towel. Apply a body scrub with added pumice, preferable one with an oil base, and massage it in well. You can purchase scrubs designed for removing dead skin in the foot care aisle of your local store. Rinse and dry.

Squeeze the juice from one lemon into a small bowl or cup. Saturate cotton balls with the lemon juice and apply to the knees. Rub the lemon juice in well and massage the area for 10 minutes. The lemon juice will lighten and soften discoloured skin. Rinse and pat dry. Cut a second lemon in half and press the 1/2 lemon onto the elbow. Hold in place for 10 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

Apply moisturising cream to the knees and elbows. Although you can certainly use your favourite lotion for this, bag balm works wonders. Udderly Smooth Foot Creme contains shea butter and does a great job of softening dry skin. Plain vaseline will work, but tends to be greasy and may stain clothing or sheets.

Apply ample amounts of Udderly Smooth Foot Creme before retiring for the night. Massage well to work the moisturiser into the skin. Always protect knees and elbows from the elements by applying moisturiser before heading outside. Remember to dry skin thoroughly and apply moisturiser after swimming.


Treat severely dry and rough skin by massaging gently with a wetted pumice stone. Maintain a regular schedule of care to prevent dry rough skin on knees and elbows. Use chapstick on elbows when they are exposed to cold air.


Avoid excessive pressure when using a pumice stone on knees and elbows to prevent damage to delicate skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild Soap
  • 2 Lemons
  • Udderly Smooth Foot Creme
  • Pumice Stone
  • Chapstick
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About the Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.