How to Get Dark Ankles Lighter

Don't let dark ankles overshadow your stylish shoes.
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Those strappy sandals hidden in the closet are just begging to strut their stuff. Unfortunately, the skin around your ankles is a full eight shades darker than your normal hue. This dreaded darkening plagues people of all complexions and is basically a super build-up of dead skin. If the skin around your ankles isn’t quite ready for the spotlight, here are some ways to diminish the darkness and get those gams into shape.

Massage a tablespoon of body scrub gently over your ankles using circular motions. Continue massaging for one to two minutes to loosen dead skin. Rinse your ankle in warm water and it pat dry. Apply another tablespoon of scrub to your other ankle and massage it in the same manner.

Massage 1 to 2 teaspoons of a moisturizing lotion containing glycolic or salicylic acid into the skin of one ankle, rubbing it in well to further remove dead skin cells. Massage the lotion down onto the top of the foot area and up over the lower-leg skin. Repeat with the other ankle. This lotion works best when used right after exfoliation. Allow the lotion to dry completely.

Massage 1 to 2 teaspoons of a skin-lightening lotion onto each ankle thoroughly after allowing the moisturizing lotion to dry. Apply only to the darkened areas of skin. Opt for brighteners with proven lightening ingredients such as licorice, yomogi and angelica root.

Massage 1 to 2 teaspoons of vitamin-C serum to the skin of your ankles each night before bed. Put on socks to prevent the serum from rubbing off while you sleep. When purchasing vitamin C, look for opaque bottles and store the serum in a dark location so that it doesn’t decrease in effectiveness.

Cut a lemon in half and rub the juice onto your ankles until the darkened areas are completely covered. Leave the juice on your skin for 20 minutes, and then rinse it off thoroughly using warm water. Repeat the treatment once or twice per week.

  • Lightening creams containing hydroquinone are also effective at lightening dark patches of skin, however they have serious side effects. If you do use these products, discontinue them after three weeks.
  • Apply a sunscreen containing a sun protection factor of 30 or more to your ankles and feet before going outside. This prevents those areas from tanning to a darker shade than the shade of your covered skin.

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.