No matter how beautifully you groom yourself, dark ankles can ruin your look completely. As the skin around the ankles is thinner than the rest of the body, it tends to become, dry, thick, and dark sometimes. This is not only embarrassing but also quite frustrating. While a solid skincare plan is enough to reverse the condition in most people, you may need to choose effective home remedies at times in order to get rid of it. In this post, we are going to talk about 15 most effective home remedies for dark ankles. Also, know about the factors that can trigger dark ankles and some other useful ways to treat it rightly.
What Causes Dark Ankles?
There are numerous factors that can lead to dark ankles and it is important to know the underlying causes in order to find the right treatments. Some of the most common reasons behind dark ankles are:
- Constant friction with rough clothes or boots
- Poor hygiene
- Lack of moisturization
- Accumulation of dead cells
- Excessive sun exposure
- Certain skin issues (eczema, psoriasis, etc.)
- Medical conditions (bruises, ankle sprains, venous stasis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, etc.)
Venous stasis is a condition in which the veins transporting blood back to our legs become darker (1). On the other hand, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is an infection existing from birth, which gives rashes around the wrists and the ankles.
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15 Most Effective Home Remedies for Dark Ankles
Although the number of causes and risk factors are high for dark ankles, it can be treated easily with the following simple home remedies:
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon is known to be the best natural bleaching agent ever. In fact, it has amazing astringent, antiseptic, and skin lightening properties, which help in healing darkened zones of the body completely. Squeeze the juice out of a fresh lemon and apply it directly onto your dark ankles. You can even rub a slice of lemon on them for a few minutes. Let it dry for half an hour before washing with lukewarm water. Doing it twice a day will make the skin lighter within a week.
The bleaching properties of lemon juice can be boosted by adding yogurt, gram flour, and turmeric to it.
2. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel has long been used as a skin lightening remedy. Applying it to your dark ankles will not only lighten the skin around them but also moisturize it thoroughly. Extract the gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf and massage your ankles with it every day. Make sure that you wait for at least 30 minutes before washing it off with plain water.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is enriched with essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Both of them are effective in moisturizing as well as repairing dark and damaged skin, thereby lightening it to a great extent. So, rub some pure coconut oil gently onto the area surrounding your ankles and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, rinse it off with a gentle soap and lukewarm water. Practice it daily to get visible results in just a few days.
Mixing half teaspoon of lemon juice with coconut oil and massaging your dark ankle area with the blend will lighten your skin tone even faster.
4. Castor Oil
Castor oil is a wonderful natural remedy for skin pigmentation. It reduces the production of excessive melanin in the skin and delivers vital nutrients to it. As a result, the affected part of the skin becomes healthier in appearance and lighter in color. Massage your dark ankles with castor oil for 10 minutes every night. Put on a pair of socks before sleeping in order to keep them covered. In the morning, wash it off with normal water. Do it regularly for the best outcomes.
5. Milk and Rice Flour
The cleansing, moisturizing, and lightening properties of milk can help you get rid of darkened skin easily. When combined with rice flour, it becomes even more potent. Mix 3 tablespoons of fresh raw milk with 1 tablespoon of rice flour and blend the mixture to form a thick, smooth paste. Massage the ankles with it gently for 10 minutes every day. Once it dries, wash it off with tepid water.
6. Potato Juice
Potato contains a copper-protein enzyme complex called catecholase, which lightens darkened skin upon regular use. Cut a potato into two halves and extract the juice from them. Squeezing out the juice of a grated potato will also do. Apply the juice directly to your ankles and let the skin soak it up for 15 minutes. As soon as it becomes dry, wash it off with lukewarm water.
Although it has not been scientifically proven, it is believed that potato has skin lightening properties and it can effectively lighten dark skin tones. Potato juice can be added to lemon juice to create an effective bleaching agent. Apply the mixture in the affected areas, scrub it well and wash it off with tepid water.
7. Cucumber Juice
The bleaching properties of cucumber are not only useful for treating dark undereye circles but also effective in lightening dark ankles. In addition, the fruit comes loaded with antioxidant vitamins (A and C), which rejuvenates the skin by keeping dead cells away. Grate a small cucumber to extract its juice and apply it to the troubled parts of your skin thoroughly. Alternatively, cut it into thick slices and rub them over your ankles gently. Let the juice dry for 15 minutes and then, wash it off with lukewarm water. Practice this on a daily basis.
8. Almond and Honey
Almond is packed with vitamin E, which is great for both lightening and brightening darkened parts of the body. Make an even paste of a handful of almonds with a little water. Add honey to the paste and mix well. Apply it generously to your dark ankles and leave for the whole night. In the morning, rinse away with cold water. Repeat it daily to see noticeable results in a few days. You can replace honey with raw milk in this recipe.
9. Sandalwood Powder and Rose Water
Both sandalwood and rose water are great for reducing the darkness of the skin. If you mix them together, the bled can even cleanse and moisture, thus restoring the health of the affected area of the skin fully. Prepare a paste by mixing 2 tablespoons of rose water with 2 tablespoons of sandalwood powder. Spread it onto your ankles and massage gently for 5 to 10 minutes. Allow it to dry naturally and then, wash it away with cold water. Repeat it every day,
10. Orange Peel Powder, Milk, and Rose Water
We have already talked about the goodness of milk and rose water for lightening darkened ankles. Adding the acidic orange peel to it will promote the bleaching effect even more. Take 1 tablespoon of dried orange peel powder, 1 tablespoon of rose water, and 2 tablespoons of raw milk in a bowl. Blend them together and spread on your ankles evenly. After 15 to 20 minutes, wash it off with cold water. You need to apply it twice every day.
11. Baking Soda and Water
Baking soda can lighten the color of your darkened skin well while cleansing it thoroughly through gentle exfoliation. Make a smooth paste by mixing 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water. Apply it on the affected areas of your legs. Rub lightly in a circular motion and wait for 10 minutes before rinsing it away. Make sure that you repeat it every other day for visible results.
12. Cocoa Butter
The best thing about cocoa butter is that it provides intense moisturization to dry and damaged skin while bringing it back to its original color. All you need to do is find some high-quality pure cocoa butter and massage your dark ankles with it. Let it sit for the next 15 minutes. Then, rinse away. It needs to be done every day to get the best results.
13. Vitamin E Oil and Sugar
Pure vitamin E oil has miraculous effects on dark ankles. Adding sugar to it will exfoliate the skin and enhance its brightness even more. Hence, dissolve 1 teaspoon of white sugar into 1 tablespoon of vitamin E oil. Rub this mixture on your ankles for 5 to 10 minutes every night. Rinse it off with water the next morning.
14. Glycerin and Rose Water
When it comes to making dark ankles brighter, glycerin and rose water can go hand in hand. Take glycerin and rose water each 1 tablespoon and blend them well. Apply the blend liberally on the troubled spots and allow it to sit for an hour. Then, wash away with lukewarm water. Make sure to practice it at least 5 times every week.
15. Oatmeal and Honey
A mixture of oatmeal and honey works as an excellent natural exfoliator. It can lighten the color of your ankles by eliminating dead skin cells from that area. Coarsely grind some oatmeal and add 2 teaspoons of pure raw honey to it. Exfoliate the dark portions of your skin with this natural scrub every day for a couple of minutes. Then, wash off with lukewarm water and apply a moisturizer.
Medicinal Remedies for Dark Ankles
If home remedies do not work for you, opt for over-the-counter products to get rid of the underlying hyperpigmentation of your ankles. Most of them contain lightening ingredients like hydroquinone, lipohydroxy acid, kojic acid, licorice, etc. Prescription medications are also available in the market for lightening different parts of the body. However, they may cause mild to moderate side effects including redness, rashes, itchiness, irritation, peeling skin, allergic reactions, sun sensitivity, etc. You should always consult your doctor before trying any of these drugs in order to stay away from these adverse impacts.
Other Ways to Take Care of Dark Ankles
Taking long-term care of your ankles is necessary to maintain its natural color. If you invest your time and efforts in daily skincare rituals, the darkness of that area will decrease and they will look much healthier over time. Here are the easiest ways to follow:
1. Clean and wash your ankles daily in the shower and follow it up with a thick moisturizer so that the skin around them does not become dry and rough.
2. Exfoliate your ankles regularly to prevent the accumulation of dead cells on it. Follow a gentle circular motion to avoid irritation. Doing it twice every week will keep the skin soft and smooth.
3. Apply and reapply a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or more) to your ankles religiously if they are exposed to the sun.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, moisturizers containing natural compounds like lignin, ellagic acid, soy protein, vitamin B3, etc. can help in lightening our skin tone to a certain extent.(2)
Read Also – 7 DIY Aloe Vera Scrub Recipes to Achieve a Flawless Skin at Home
Dark ankles are quite embarrassing and may lead to low self esteem. There could be multiple reasons behind dark ankles and it is always recommended to ascertain the exact trigger before you start any treatment. Some of the most common reasons are constant friction with clothes, poor hygiene, accumulation of dead cells, hyperpigmentation, skin diseases and medical conditions like venous stasis, rocky mountain spotted fever etc. Kitchen ingredients like lemon juice, aloe vera juice, coconut oil are effective in treating dark ankles. Additionally regular cleaning, scrubbing and application of moisturizer can prevent occurrence of dark ankles.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Venous Stasis Go Away On Its Own?
Venous stasis does not go away on its own. It needs to be diagnosed and treated in order to avoid serious complications. Some of the most common symptoms of venous stasis include swelling, aching, tiredness (in legs), the appearance of new varicose veins, etc.
How to Remove Dead Cells from Ankles?
Exfoliation can help you get rid of dead cells accumulated on your ankles. The easiest way is to use a pumice stone for this purpose. Soften your feet by soaking them in lukewarm water for 15 minutes. Then, scrub off the dead skin cells by moving the stone gently around the feet in a circular motion. Once done, apply a good moisturizer thoroughly.
What Causes Brown Discoloration on Legs Close to Ankles?
If the lower parts of your legs and your ankles turn swollen and reddish-brown in color, it can be the issue of varicose veins and you need to consult your doctor to get rid of it.
- “What Is Venous Stasis Dermatitis?“, WebMD.com
- “How to fade dark spots in skin of color” – Aad.org