If you notice those small red or black spots on your legs after hair removal, especially shaving, then those are called strawberry legs. If you are wondering why this name, then it is because these spots resemble the skin on a strawberry. Majorly caused due to shaving, these dots are usually more visible on some skin types as compared to others.
While this problem can be extremely annoying and can even make your legs look pretty unappealing, it is not exactly unavoidable or untreatable. Yes, really! By simply incorporating a few simple changes in your hair shaving routine, avoiding as well as eliminating strawberry legs will become a total cakewalk! Exciting isn't it? Read on for a complete guide on the causes, preventions and treatments of strawberry legs. Whatever your choice of hair removal, we assure you, these tips will give you soft, smooth and supple legs each and every time. Read on…
Causes of strawberry legs
Before going over the treatments and preventions, let’s take a look at some of the things that cause strawberry legs. Once you are aware about the causes, preventing as well as treating this condition will be a lot easier.
This is the most common cause of recurring strawberry legs. If you regularly shave with a razor that has blunt and dull blades or do not use a shaving cream, then it causes razor burns on your skin that can eventually lead to strawberry legs. Additionally, forgetting to exfoliate before shaving (especially if you have thick body hair) can lead to ingrown hair, which can again be a cause of this annoying condition.
Just like how your facial skin is covered by pores, the skin on your legs is too. And much in the same way as your face, the pores on your legs can also be clogged with dead skin, dirt and bacteria. When dirt and oil get exposed to air, get oxidised and turn black, it causes strawberry legs.
The dirt, bacteria and fungus can get trapped in the follicles on your legs, and cause inflammation and redness. This condition, in which small, red bumps appear all over your legs is called folliculitis. This condition can be worsened due to the friction caused by your clothes rubbing against your skin or due to harsh and stripping chemicals found in bath and body products. Although this condition is not dangerous, it can sometimes feel itchy, uncomfortable and slightly painful.
Another common cause of strawberry legs is the skin condition called keratosis pilaris. This happens when keratin, a protein that your skin sheds regularly, gets trapped in the openings of the hair follicles, leading to strawberry-like skin. Keratosis pilaris is fairly common at the back of your arms, thighs, cheeks and buttocks and looks like tiny bumps over dry and patchy skin. The appearance of dry patches and tiny bumps, is usually on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks, or buttocks.
Although dry skin isn’t a direct cause of strawberry legs or dark skin, it sure acts as a catalyst in developing it. Severely dry skin is more prone to razor burns and skin irritation post shaving as well as folliculitis. This makes those black and red bumps more visible.
Treatments for strawberry legs
Simple, everyday lifestyle and skincare habits are the best treatments for strawberry legs. Read on to find out what they are…
When it comes to preventing and eliminating strawberry legs, it is best to opt for waxing as a hair removal method. This is because waxing helps in removing each hair right from the root, as opposed to shaving, which only cuts the hair in half from your skin’s surface. This reduces the chances of ingrown hair and trapped hair follicles, thereby preventing strawberry legs to a great extent.
Exfoliation works as a miraculous treatment for strawberry legs. Exfoliation helps in eliminating dead skin cells, dirt, debris and bacteria and prevents the pores and follicles from getting clogged. It also prevents ingrown hair. Whether your choice of exfoliation is physical scrubs, chemical ones or straight up dry brushing, the only important thing to remember is to be super gentle. Being too vigorous and harsh may treat strawberry legs, but will definitely damage your skin in other ways.
In case shaving is your preferred hair removal method, ensure that you use a good quality razor with sharp blades. This will go a long way in preventing nicks, razor burns and skin irritation, as you won’t have to go over the same area several times to achieve a smooth shave. A sharp and new razor also prevents ingrown hair. These factors play a very important role in preventing skin inflammation, irritation and obviously, strawberry legs.
If you still haven’t bought yourself a shaving cream and rely on internet shaving hacks such as soap and hair conditioners on a regular basis, then you need to stop ASAP. Using a moisturising shaving cream helps soften the hair and create a layer of lubrication over your skin, both of which are essential to achieve a smooth shave and treat strawberry legs.
After any hair removal process, and especially after exfoliation and shaving, it is extremely important to moisturise the area to calm inflammation and keep your skin soft and supple. Additionally, regularly moisturising your legs ensures that your skin stays well hydrated, which prevents dry skin, another major cause of strawberry legs.
This is the best way to eliminate and treat the problem of strawberry legs right from the root. This is especially beneficial for people with thick and coarse hair, as these people are not only more prone to developing strawberry legs, but other hair removal methods such as waxing and epilators could be too painful for them and cause skin irritation. Laser hair removal targets the hair follicle and prevents your hair from growing back, making it an excellent treatment for strawberry legs.
Another in-office treatment for strawberry legs is chemical peels. Just like how a chemical for your face helps in getting rid of dead skin cells thoroughly to reveal soft and supple skin, it has a similar effect on your legs too. Usually containing a combination of salicylic acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid, these peels unclog pores, remove dead skin and trapped dirt to give your legs a smoother and softer appearance.
FAQs about strawberry legs
Q. Can a dermatologist help with strawberry legs?
A. Yes, absolutely. Visiting a dermatologist regularly for treatments such as body peels and laser hair removal really helps in treating strawberry legs. These treatments eliminate dead skin cells and clear clogged pores to ensure that your legs look super soft and clear, while also preventing the chances of developing strawberry legs.
Q. How long does it take to heal strawberry legs?
A. With consistent exfoliation, moisturising and proper hair removal methods, getting rid of strawberry legs can take anywhere between three to six weeks. But it is important to keep in mind that while keratosis pilaris and folliculitis are treatable in most cases, if your problem is genetic, it may take a little longer to heal.