We hold them. We bump them. We lean on them (literally). Yet too many of us take our elbows for granted, even though they are as important to our health as they are to our wardrobe.
Check Those 'Bows
Elbows are a surprising barometer for overall health, says Dr. Judi Frank, a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in elbow contouring. "Sometimes women come to me because they're unhappy with the shape of their elbows, and upon further investigation I realize they have early-stage arm cancer," she says. "Even a great general practitioner will sometimes forget to do an elbow exam."
Here's Frank's easy three-step method for an at-home elbow check:
1. Once a month, while you're showering, squeeze your left elbow with your right hand.
2. Run your fingers across both sides of the elbow, feeling for unusual or unsightly bumps.
3. Finally, run your fingers inside your arm, along the elbow crease. Repeat, switching your left hand to your right elbow.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary, call your doctor.
Yes, it's true: more women are turning to surgeons like Frank for cosmetic elbow enhancement. Most of the time, Frank says, women want thinner elbows–or at least more definition. But the grass is always greener on the other side of the elbow: very lean women may request fat injections around the elbows to reduce their "Skeletorbows."
Celeb-ow Inspiration: Kate Hudson
The Something Borrowed star (that's her gorgeous arm-corner, above!) is a frequent reference for Frank's patients, with good reason. "Kate has a truly classic elbow," says Frank, who does not treat the star. "There's a distinctive shape, but it's also feminine. That's a timeless look that will work this season–and next."
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
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