Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist - Written by Sritama Dutta (Medical Science) on 04th Feb 2021
Strawberry Legs? Here’s All You Need To Know About It!
Who doesn't like munching on delicious and vibrant strawberries? Have one any time you wish, and it will lift your mood in no time! But have you ever heard about "Strawberry Legs"?
Not only does it have an undesirable appearance, but it is also an annoyance to many people. They can be a serious concern. In this article, we would talk about strawberry legs and how we can get rid of it.
Strawberry Legs: What Does it Mean?
Strawberry legs refer to the small black dots on the legs that give them a stippled or pitted appearance. The term "Strawberry Legs" comes from its resemblance to the actual strawberry fruit with pitted skin with seeds embedded on it. The black pitted appearance develops due to the entrapment of oil, microbes, and dead cell debris in the hair follicles and enlarged pores.
How do "Strawberry Legs" Look?
Strawberry legs are open comedones that get exposed after shaving, where oil and dirt accumulate. The sebum and debris get oxidized when exposed to air and turn black and appear as black dots.
Causes: How Do Strawberry Legs Develop?
Strawberry leg is an umbrella term that signifies a distinct appearance that can result from different causes.
Let's see what the factors that can cause this skin condition are:
1. Improper Shaving
Razor burns from using an old, dull razor while shaving your legs or not using shaving cream while shaving makes your legs more prone to form open comedones, resulting in strawberry legs. The improper technique of shaving can cause ingrown hairs. This condition in individuals with thick hair growth may further develop into strawberry legs.
Shaving with a dull blade can damage the skin and result in skin irritation. The hair follicles in that area can also darken and result in strawberry legs.
2. Clogged Pores
If you have enlarged pores on your skin, you run a greater risk of having them clogged with dirt, grime, and dead skin cells. Oxidation of accumulated oil and dirt on exposure to air turns the open comedones black, giving your legs a black stippled appearance. This is common in people with genetically thicker hair growth or with large open pores.
Folliculitis is a term that refers to the inflammation of hair follicles. The folliculitis can also get severe at times when the hair follicles get infected with microbes. But how does it happen? Waxing or shaving your leg hair can leave the hair follicles open after hair removal. These open hair follicles get exposed to hundreds of bacteria, fungus, and yeast, which can get infested in them on contact and lead to folliculitis.
Folliculitis can also occur if you are using a hot tub with an unregulated pH level. Primarily, it will appear as small red zits or blisters that might develop into scabs later. Such scabs do not heal easily and can lead to strawberry legs.
4. Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis Pilaris is a common skin condition. It can be genetically induced or occur due to external factors when the skin produces excessive amounts of the protein Keratin, which often blocks the hair follicles and causes tiny bumps to appear on the surface. It usually appears on the thighs, buttocks, and upper arms. They are benign and do not cause any harm. And usually, these bumps disappear by the age of 30 but may persist in some individuals.
The keratin and dead cell debris that gets accumulated in the skin in Keratosis pilaris appear as small bumps that look like goosebumps or "chicken skin" and have a hard and rough texture. They can be itchy and dry to touch. This condition can also be seasonal and might develop only during the dry winter months when the skin loses moisturization.
Keratosis pilaris is often noted, infrequent swimmers. The pool's chlorinated water tends to dry up the skin, which makes it more susceptible to develop Keratosis pilaris. Individuals living in low humidity regions might also develop this skin condition. The persistence of this condition can result in Strawberry legs.
5. Extremely Dry Skin
Individuals with extremely dry skin are more prone to develop "Strawberry legs." Because if you have dry skin, your skin is more susceptible to develop irritation after shaving. You might also run an increased risk of developing razor burns, folliculitis, and even keratosis pilaris, which might lead to "strawberry legs."
Can You Get Rid of Strawberry Legs?
Yes, you definitely can! Taking care of a few things will help in diminishing the symptoms of strawberry legs. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, you can opt for home remedies or professional care for treating strawberry Legs.
Things to Remember:
#1. Pick a Proper Method to Shave
Improper shaving is one of the leading causes of the development of Strawberry legs. Thus, to make your skin feel smooth and awesome, you need to follow a proper shaving method to avoid causing open comedones.
- Use good shaving cream to avoid nicks and cuts, and other damages to the skin.
- Use new disposable razor blades every time you shave rather than reusing old, blunt blades.
- Shave in the direction the hair grows to prevent bumps and razor burns.
#2. Exfoliate Regularly
Exfoliating is the only way to clear out clogged pores. However, vigorously scrubbing the skin might irritate the skin and worsen the condition. So, you need to gently exfoliate the skin using a soft loofah or washcloth with a body wash. You can also use a mild body scrub.
#3. Don't Forget to Moisturize
Individuals with dry skin run a greater risk of developing strawberry legs. Thus, to avoid cognition, it is important to moisturize the skin sufficiently. Also, moisturizing the skin after shaving your legs will help in preventing the development of open comedones.
#4. Active Ingredients can Help Too!
Beta hydroxy acids such as Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid can reduce the symptoms of strawberry legs. These active ingredients are comedolytic and have been proven to help treat non-inflammatory acne such as blackheads and whiteheads.
They also have mild moisturizing properties that help in hydrating dry skin. These ingredients can penetrate the skin layer and reach the deepest part of the pores. It dissolves the dirt, sebum, and microbes that congest the pores and clears them away.
How to Treat Strawberry Legs at Home?
Scrubbing your legs can greatly help in diminishing symptoms of Strawberry Legs. These are some ingredients that you can easily find in your home to help treat strawberry legs.
1. Sugar Scrub:
Sugar is a natural exfoliator that removes the superficial dead skin layer and opens up clogged pores.
2. Aloe Vera:
Aloe vera has moisturizing properties, which can soothe skin irritation and also help in hydrating dry skin.
4. Rose Water
Rosewater is known to soothe skin. It also has a mild moisturizing property that can keep dry skin well hydrated.
5. Oatmeal Scrub
Scrubbing with oatmeal can help in exfoliating the dead skin cells and in clearing up clogged pores.
6. Baking Soda
7. Olive Oil
Olive oil is an excellent moisturizer that will help to keep dry skin well hydrated.
What if Home Remedies do not Work?
If the condition is too severe, home remedies or over-the-counter treatment options might not work on Strawberry Legs. But do not worry. There are options of in-office professional care that can help in reducing the symptoms. Let's see how a skin expert can help you in managing strawberry legs.
- Electrolysis: Electrolysis is a method where low-intensity electricity is used on pinpoint irritated hair follicles. This technique prevents the recurrence of ingrown hair.
- Laser Therapy: Laser therapy aids in the permanent removal of hair by targeting the hair follicles. This is an effective treatment as it can treat one follicle at a time.
- Antibiotic Therapy: Orally or topically administered antibiotics can help treat folliculitis, which prevents strawberry legs from occurring.
Strawberry legs are quite common. But can Strawberry Legs be Prevented?
Skin experts have suggested that using an epilator will help in a smoother removal of body hair. This can reduce the risk of developing strawberry legs. Using shaving cream and a fresh, sharper razor blade that smoothly glides over the skin prevents the condition's appearance of symptoms. It is suggested to use a razor that offers ample flexibility not to apply excessive pressure on your skin, which can irritate the skin.
We hope we have been able to address your concerns about strawberry legs. For more detailed information, you may consult your dermatologists.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Can Strawberry Legs be Genetic?
One of the most common causes of strawberry legs is Keratosis pilaris, which is a genetic condition. This disease results in excess Keratin build up in the hair follicles.
2. Does Dry Brushing Help in Getting Rid of Strawberry Legs?
Yes, dry brushing with a soft brush in a gentle, circular motion before showering can help get rid of the open comedones in strawberry legs.
3. How Long does it Take to Cure Strawberry Legs?
Whether you are opting for home remedies or taking help from a professional, it might take 2 to 6 weeks for the treatment to show any result.