Why develop dark knuckles? symptoms & remedies.

A photo of a hand with dark knuckles
A photo of a hand with dark knuckles

Dark knuckles or patches of skin on the knuckles are common among people with darker skin tones. However, anyone can develop dark knuckles. Sometimes, they do not have an obvious cause. But for some people, it may be a sign of a metabolic condition, medication side effects, or underlying disease. Dark patches of skin often occur due to hyperpigmentation, which happens when the skin produces more melanin than usual. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its color.

Causes of dark knuckles.

Dermatomyositis– this is a rare inflammatory disease that causes the muscle to weaken and skin rash. However, the skin rash appears on the knuckles.

Scleroderma– this is a rare autoimmune disease that causes an overproduction of collagen thereby, leading to the hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues.

Addison’s disease– is still a rare condition. However, it is caused by the failure of adrenal glands to produce enough of the steroid hormones known as cortisol and aldosterone.

Polycystic ovary syndrome– involves the production of higher than normal levels of male hormones in women. However, polycystic ovary syndrome is treatable with drugs and lifestyle changes such as weight loss.

Autoimmune disorders– it is associated with an autoimmune disease such as Sjogren’s syndrome or lupus.

Prediabetes and diabetes– are most prevalent among people with diabetes. Prediabetes means blood sugar levels are higher than normal.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency– dark knuckles are an important maker for vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Acanthosis nigricans– is a skin condition that causes small patches of skin. In addition, it often takes months to appear and can cause the skin to have a bad itch. However, Acanthosis nigrican is not contagious but can be related to other medical issues.

Dark knuckles may also be hereditary through genes.


Once a doctor identifies the underlying cause of dark knuckles and prescribes treatment, the discoloration should improve. However, if a medication is caused by hyperpigmentation, a doctor can offer an alternative drug or dosage.

If there is no underlying cause, home remedies can help lighten dark knuckles.

Home remedies for dark knuckles.

Turmeric– curcumin is an active compound in turmeric. Therefore, to use turmeric, combine a small amount of water with turmeric and then apply the paste to the knuckle for a few minutes.

Tea- steep a tea bag in hot water, let it cool, then soak a cotton ball in the tea. Therefore, apply the liquid to the knuckles a few times a day.

Vitamin c- is an antioxidant that can help with a variety of skin concerns. In addition, many skin cure products contain vitamin c.

How to prevent dark knuckles.

It is not possible to prevent many of the underlying conditions that cause dark knuckles. However, a person can help to prevent hyperpigmentation by using sunscreen before going outsides.

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