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Elbows, Knees, And Heels

The skin on your elbows, knees, and heels get a lot of use and abuse through the course of a day. Dead skin cells accumulate there faster than the living skin beneath can naturally shed it, resulting in a dry, scaly coating that discolors easily.

Repair

To release the shell of dead skin, do some deep exfoliation. Start by massaging lemon juice into your elbow, knee, or heel for several minutes. The acids in the lemon juice will help your skin release dead skin cells. The dead skin will become soft and white as it absorbs the juice. Using a warm, moist washcloth or pumice stone, along with a gentle body scrub, remove the dead skin. The best kind of body scrubs are oil-based. Use a gentle abrasive like sugar or salt rather than nut shells or plastic beads, which are harsh and can irritate the skin.

When you expose the living skin underneath, don't scrub too hard. Stripped of its outer layers, the soft skin will be very delicate. You will know you have removed most of the dead skin cells because your skin will feel smooth and supple. Protect the newly exposed skin with a deep moisturizer.

If your skin feels dry and uncomfortable after exfoliation, apply aloe vera every morning, followed by a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. The antioxidants in olive oil promote skin healing. You can add aloe vera over the course of the day as needed, and repeat the aloe and olive oil routine before bed for the quickest recovery. The olive oil will also help soften your dead skin cells for removal.

Maintenance

Continue moisturizing daily and exfoliating weekly to keep your elbows, knees, and heels feeling smooth and supple. If your skin stays very dry or you have a relapse, repeat the repair treatments above. The lemon scrub treatment can be repeated up to once a week, while the olive oil and aloe treatment is gentle enough to repeat daily as needed.

Healing for these problem areas on your skin can take a while to take full effect; when skin is dried and stressed, it tends to thinken and toughen. This is reversible, but it takes time; the toughened layers have to be gradually replaced by newer layers of skin from beneath, and you need to take care of the new skin to keep it from becoming tough and dry as well.

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