Dark Knuckles; An Indication of Ill Health.
At some point, I used to think dark knuckles only happened to people who have bleached their skin, I am dark-skinned, so do not blame me, but over time I started to hear stories of people who claimed never to have bleached their skin also having the same issue. Do you have the same thought as mine, and have you thought for a second that you may just be wrong? Then join me as we discuss the other reasons behind dark knuckles together.
The reason behind the dark patches of skin a person may experience is as a result of "hyperpigmentation''. Hyperpigmentation happens when the skin produces more amount of melanin than usual. Before I thought about dark skin and dark knuckles, anyone can develop dark knuckles regardless of the skin tone.
It could be completely harmless to have dark knuckles, but it also could be a cause for concern when it indicates an underlying health condition. In some cases, it may be an inherited situation, a reaction to drugs such as; contraceptive pills, estrogen therapy, etc.
Absence of Vitamin B12: The absence of Vitamin B12 in the body is also significantly shown through dark knuckles. The case of knuckle hyperpigmentation occurring as a result of deficient vitamin B12, is often a reversible situation which upon corrected, would make the dark knuckles disappear.
Acanthosis Nigricans (AN): This condition leads to the darkening and thickening of patches over different folds and joints in the body, when speaking about different parts of the body, the knuckles are also included in this case. This condition can affect people of all ages, but it is more common in the Caribbean, Hispanic, African, and Native American populations.
As scary as the condition may sound, it is a relief to know that it is not infectious in itself, but on the other hand, it could also be an indication of other health issues like cancer, hormonal imbalance, or even cancer.
Diabetes: Dark skin patches on the knuckles may also signify the development of diabetes even before it fully sets in, that is from the stage of prediabetes. Knuckle hyperpigmentation could signify the beginning of diabetes and could save the patient if diagnosed and managed on time.
Addison's Disease: A darkened joint region, especially the knuckles could be one of the first noticed symptoms of Addison's disease, usually followed by serious body weakness, and weight loss amongst other signs. This disease is not a common one, but it is a life-threatening one, and discovering it on time would help out a lot.
Skin lightening products: Several skin lightening products are made up of derivatives of salicylic acid like hydroquinone or lipohydroxy acid. These compounds are artificial and contain acids that would bleach the skin, the skin on the other hand reacts especially when used on areas with hyperpigmentation. The knuckle happens to be one of the body parts that have hyperpigmentation, making it quite difficult for bleaching products to get through and lighten them up.
It is good that we have been able to unveil some other possible reasons behind dark knuckles. However, in most cases, black knuckles are usually associated with the strong acidic substances that are found in some of the products used on the skin, and the breakdown of the melanin present in it, it is this product that we refer to as bleaching creams.
There is no health benefit linked with bleaching products, aside from the fact that the result is not even guaranteed, there are numerous cases of adverse side effects and possible complications, so if dark knuckles are caused by bleaching products, such products should be stopped, and if not, then medical tests will help in the discovery of what the medical issue could be.