5 Tips for Softening Scaly Elbows

Apply moisturizer soon after stepping out of the shower.
Apply moisturizer soon after stepping out of the shower.
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Despite folds and creases galore, elbows are woefully lacking in the glands that keep the rest of your skin lubricated, so it's up to you to pick up the slack. This is another endeavor where it's easy to find helpful products at home. Milk is handy for a soothing soak. Thick moisturizing creams and petroleum jelly are the best products for a little post-shower attention, and some experts recommend at least two applications a day.

Other over-the-counter options are lotions containing urea, lactic acid, or alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids, which are good for fighting bumps. A very small amount of jojoba oil, massaged into dry elbows, will closely mimic the body's own natural moisturizers [source: Shape].

Whatever moisturizer you choose, experts believe the key is to slather it on as soon as possible after bathing, preferably within a couple minutes of toweling off. This will help prevent the moisture loss from evaporation that occurs when your skin starts to cool down.

And it can't be said enough: Make sure you're hydrated to help keep your skin healthy. If you're spending a lot of time exercising or enjoying the sun, drink more than usual to compensate for the hydration you're losing through sweat.

Unfortunately, you can't cure every skin malady in your kitchen. Some elbows might be so far gone that professional help is in order.

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