I’ve been left with very wrinkled and red elbows

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After a recent long spell of ill-health I lost a lot of weight.  I am now on the mend, but my arms did become very thin. I am now thankfully gaining weight but have been left with very wrinkled and red elbows.  Is there a particular cream or treatment you can recommend? I seem to remember (from years ago) a home-made remedy involving lemon juice and a few other things, but can’t really remember it. I don’t lean on my elbows at table or anything. Thanks in anticipation. Yours faithfully, Christina Old…Kirkaldy

Christina, as we age most of us will experience dry and wrinkled elbows. Like you I remember sinking my elbows into two lemon halves for 10 minutes to bleach them!  Elbows crease more than other skin areas and frequent creasing can lead to skin chapping. We all need to moisturize with body lotion every day after our bath or shower, but it sounds like your elbows need feeding with a rich cream rubbed in to restore and rejuvenate them. Do this before going to bed but wear long sleeved PJ’s or shirt to seal in moisture overnight.

Red, dry elbow skin is more prevalent in the winter because of the lack of moisture in the air and of its location on the body. Additional contributing factors include taking long, hot baths or showers, or using harsh soaps and laundry detergents.

If your elbow redness is more severe be aware that Psoriasis causes flaky, red patches on the skin that look shiny and cause itching or burning. They can be anywhere, but are more common on elbows, knees and the lower back. Psoriasis affects 2% of people in the UK and it usually begins between the ages of 11 and 45 when some of the body’s antibodies attack skin cells by mistake, causing them to reproduce too quickly and build up on the skin.  You mentioned that you had been unwell and certain things may make symptoms worse, including alcohol, smoking and some medicines, such as anti-inflammatories (for example, ibuprofen) and beta-blockers (used to treat heart problems). Treatment for Psoriasis, depending on the severity of the patches includes creams containing vitamin D or vitamin A and steroid creams.  Christina if you are worried I would advise you to talk to your GP about treatment.

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