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Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Dark Knuckles Fast!

Dr. Salman Mansoor

5 min read

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Struggling with dark knuckles? Then you’ve come to the right place. Dark knuckles are usually harmless but can perturb those conscious about their looks, as they can appear unattractive. Dark knuckles mainly occur due to hyperpigmentation resulting from the excess formation of melanin, the pigment that gives your skin color.

There can be other reasons for dark knuckles, such as underlying health conditions, metabolic conditions, or drug reactions.

Keep reading to know more about dark knuckles and how to get rid of them fast and permanently!

Home Remedies For Dark Knuckles

If you have dark knuckles due to a disease, getting treatment for it can get rid of dark knuckles. Home remedies may also be useful to remove darker knuckles and promote an even skin tone. Here are the best home remedies to get rid of dark knuckles:

1. Lemon Juice

This simple and natural remedy goes a long way in lightening your skin color. You can apply it directly with a cotton ball, or you can dilute it if it irritates your skin too much. Lemon juice contains citric acid, which has skin-whitening properties as it breaks down melanin production and improves the appearance of dark knuckles.

2. Baking Soda

Another household ingredient, baking soda, is commonly used in baking, but it is an effective remedy for brightening knuckles. It is a mild abrasive that removes dirt, dead skin cells, and excess oil to make your skin appear brighter. It naturally exfoliates your skin and removes any compounds that cause dark knuckles.

3. Vitamin C

Due to its high antioxidant content, Vitamin C is essential for improving the appearance of your knuckles. Eating foods full of Vitamin C or taking supplements can help increase Vitamin C levels and effectively improve the color of your knuckles.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric is a common household spice with whitening properties. It reduces melanin production by lowering the enzymes causing the pigmentation. You can use turmeric by combining a small amount of milk and turmeric, turning it into a paste. Apply that paste to the knuckles and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash it with warm water and reduce dark knuckles.  

5. Green Tea

Green tea is high in antioxidants, which are essential for the good health of your skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce swelling and make your skin look brighter. Moreover, it reduces melanin production and can whiten your knuckles.

More Tips To Get Rid Of Dark Knuckles

Home remedies like the ones above can lighten your knuckles in the short run, but an overall healthy skin routine ensures even and glowing skin in the long run.

1. Cleanse & Exfoliate

Cleansing and exfoliating your skin can eliminate any diet on your skin and make it a few shades brighter. It also hydrates and nourishes the skin, making it appear clearer. Cleansing once or twice a week can lighten the skin on your knuckles.

Choosing products to your skin type is also necessary, so consider your skin type before buying and applying any products. You can also use natural ingredients like milk, yogurt, and oatmeal to make a cleanser or exfoliator at home.

2. Moisturize Regularly

It’s no surprise that moisturizing regularly can improve the texture of your skin, but did you know it can also prevent dark knuckles? Moisturizing with lotions or creams that contain Vitamin E or aloe vera gel can be used to hydrate your skin and prevent or treat the prevalence of dark knuckles. There are many positive effects of Vitamin E for your skin, including skin whitening.

3. Use Sunscreen

A sunscreen or sunblock can prevent damage from sun rays and prevent a sun tan. It can also prevent your skin from sagging and causing additional creasing. Applying sunscreen regularly can help prevent a tan and give you clearer and radiant skin. Ensure that you apply ample sunscreen, and do not miss out on the knuckles!

4. Consult Your Skin Specialist

A skin specialist can help determine the cause behind your dark knuckles and provide you with lasting treatment options to permanently remove dark knuckles. Some ingredients, such as lipohydroxy acid, can whiten your skin and brighten dark knuckles. Other ingredients that can have skin-whitening effects are niacinamide, lignin peroxidase, and ellagic acid.

A few topical retinoids (prescription-based), like keratolytic, can reduce the dark skin on your knuckles. Both these over-the-counter and prescription-based medicines can be effective at lightening dark knuckles. Exercise caution while using these treatments, or consult your dermatologist beforehand to avoid any negative consequences from using these products.

What Causes Dark Knuckles?

Having dark knuckles can frustrate you as they may stand out due to their experience. While it may not be a medical issue in most cases, knowing its causes can help you discover whether it is a cosmetic concern or caused by an underlying problem that requires prompt treatment.

1. Hyperpigmentation

The leading cause of dark knuckles is hyperpigmentation. It usually happens when your skin is overproducing melanin, a pigment that provides color to your skin. Excess melanin production can lead to dark knuckles and darken the appearance of other body parts. There are other causes of hyperpigmentation, and looking into them may help you figure out the cause.

2. Diabetes

You may have dark knuckles if you have diabetes or are at high risk of diabetes, which is indicated by high blood sugar. As prediabetes often has no symptoms, dark knuckles can be an early sign that you need to check your blood sugar level and take steps to prevent prediabetes from turning into diabetes.

3. Vitamin B12 Deficiency

You can find Vitamin B12 in many fruits and vegetables, but some may still have Vitamin B12 deficiency. You can identify B12 deficiency if you have dark knuckles and other symptoms like anemia, fatigue, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness. You may also be at high risk of neurological problems if you don’t counter B12 deficiency. Supplements of a Vitamin B12-rich diet can improve dark knuckles in such cases.

4. Sun Damage

Sun rays can harm your skin and make it tan. It can make your skin look old. Your skin may also appear dark in some areas, including knuckles.

5. Drug Reaction

Some medicines can also cause dark knuckles. Medications like oral contraceptives, protease inhibitors, insulin, and niacin, among others, can make your knuckles dark. You should consult your doctor if you take any medicines and have dark knuckles. If drugs are the cause behind dark knuckles, they may disappear once you stop taking that drug.

6. Dermatomyositis

A rare condition that causes skin inflammation, dermatomyositis can weaken muscles and result in a skin rash, which may appear on your face, knees, knuckles, chest, and elbows. The rash may appear red and scaly and can darken your knuckles. This disease has no cure, but you can treat its symptoms if you have it.

7. Scleroderma

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that leads to excessive collagen production. Collagen is an essential component that gives your skin hydration and promotes elasticity, making the skin look youthful and plump. In this situation, it can harden your skin, impacting the color of your knuckles.

8. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Another condition that can result is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS. It causes irregular hormone production, can affect skin color, and darken skin in areas like knuckles. Those suffering from PCOS should consult a gynecologist for treatment. Treating this condition can also help get rid of dark knuckles.

9. Autoimmune Diseases

Dark knuckles can be a sign of an autoimmune disease, such as lupus, in a few cases. If you suspect unusual darkening on patches of your skin, a doctor can help you with it.

Other diseases, such as Acanthosis nigricans and Addison’s disease, can also cause skin darkening and lead to dark-looking knuckles.


Dark knuckles are usually the result of increased melanin formation in your skin, which causes hyperpigmentation and darkens the skin. It can also occur due to disease, and you should be aware of these diseases to identify the cause of dark knuckles. Some diseases that have dark knuckles as a side effect are diabetes, PCOS, scleroderma, dermatomyositis, and autoimmune disorders.

Getting treatment for these can get rid of dark knuckles. Moreover, medicine interactions can also increase melanin production and cause dark knuckles. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also result in dark knuckles, but combatting that deficiency can light dark knuckles.

Some at-home remedies can easily lighten dark knuckles, but you should use them regularly and wait some time for the results. Organic ingredients, such as yogurt, turmeric, lemon juice, and green tea, can eliminate dark knuckles in the short term. However, if irritation occurs, remove it immediately, as it can cause skin reactions.

Some healthy skincare habits can be useful for you to get healthier and brighter-looking skin and knuckles. Cleaning, exfoliating, and moisturizing skin every day can prevent sun damage and eliminate dirt and grime from your knuckles, making them appear even-toned. You can also use skin-whitening creams, lotions, or serums to get a more lasting whitening effect on your knuckles.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Salman Mansoor
Dr. Salman Mansoor - Author Dr. Salman Mansoor is a widely respected and renowned dermatologist who has earned an eminent reputation as an innovative leader in Dermatology, Cosmetic Surgery, Anti-Ageing & Laser Treatments.

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