5 Tips for Softening Scaly Elbows

Keep Them Clean
Don't wash with water that's too hot.
Don't wash with water that's too hot.
Sami Sarkis/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Why are the hard-working elbows such a common dry spot? Much like your knees, those little folds and creases are susceptible to dryness and general unattractiveness, but they're important -- without that skin, your joints wouldn't have enough room to flex. Unfortunately, when your arms are straight, your elbow skin has no choice but to bunch up, and it's easy for dust and germs to collect, which can be dangerous. Make sure you clean them often to prevent buildup and infection.

You can take some simple steps to make your cleansing routine friendlier toward dry skin, and they won't even take any extra time. Shower at a moderate temperature, because super hot water saps moisture. Avoid skin care products containing alcohol and harsh acids, which can make dryness worse. Finally, resist the urge to scrub dry. If you gently towel yourself off, it'll do far less damage to your skin.

The shower is also a great place to exfoliate, or slough off buildup. On the next page, we'll tell you how to get the most out of your scrub.