Do you ever get those ANNOYING dotted spots on your skin? Especially after shaving?
Well, they are called “strawberry legs”.
Today our specialists at Dr Aesthetica have compiled this complete guide on:
- What strawberry legs are.
- Why do we get them?
- How we can remove these dark spots
- And much more!
What are Strawberry legs?
Strawberry legs are described as a dotted or pitted look on the skin of your legs.
In this condition, your legs can look vaguely similar to the skin of a strawberry, hence the funky name.
Strawberry legs can happen for many reasons. We have discussed it in great detail below.
However, it mainly occurs because your hair follicles hold a trapped mixture of bacteria, oil and dead skin.
When air reaches the follicle, it oxidizes the trapped oil and turns it dark.
Cause of Strawberry Legs
As mentioned before, there are MANY reasons for this dotted look to appear on your skin.
In fact, the term strawberry leg is an “umbrella term” for various conditions that can cause this dark appearance. Some of these conditions can overlap with each other.
Folliculitis from shaving
Shaving is not inherently harmful to the skin. However, “lazy shaving” CAN damage the skin. Examples of this include:
- Incorrectly using old or dull razors.
- Not applying any shaving cream before starting to shave.
The problem with lazy shaving is that it can leave small razor burns on your skin making your hair follicles inflamed.
This is called folliculitis and appears as tiny red dots with a white tip.
Another issue with improper shaving habits is ingrown hair. This can also cause strawberry legs.
So, try your best to follow safe shaving habits as much as possible.
Folliculitis from Other Activities
Apart from shaving, folliculitis also occurs with other hair removal methods that leave the hair follicles open.
You can also get folliculitis if you have been exposed to bacteria, yeast or fungus.
The most common way to get exposed to these organisms is by being in hot tubs that are not regulated chemically and PH-wise.
Yes, it is fun to join your friends in the unclean hot tub, but is it worth the skin damage?
Folliculitis is a condition that can heal over a period of time. However, there is a possibility for it to develop into scabs that do not heal properly.
Keratosis pilaris is often considered genetic.
It occurs regularly for some people on the thighs and upper arm region. Luckily, this condition does not cause pain, discomfort or any other problems.
You can identify keratosis pilaris by searching for small bumps that look like rough pimples and feel hard to the touch. People often refer to it is as “chicken skin”.
This condition happens because of dead skin cells and keratin (a protein) accumulating randomly in certain body areas.
Keratosis pilaris is usually seasonal and happens more during the winter season than in the months of summer. The main reason being that the skin is dryer in winter.
Swimming pool chemicals and residing in climates of low humidity can also cause keratosis pilaris.
One can also get strawberry legs through having dry skin as there is a greater chance of developing irritations while shaving.
Dry skin leaves you more vulnerable to receiving razor burns.
Another issue with dry skin is that it makes strawberry legs, keratosis pilaris and folliculitis MUCH easier to see with the naked eye.
Are Strawberry Legs Permanent?
The best person that can answer this question is your doctor.
At Dr Aesthetica, our skincare specialists have years of experience in treating various skin conditions, including strawberry legs. So, call or visit us to book an appointment today to enjoy clean, healthy and glowing skin!
In general, both folliculitis and keratosis pilaris can be treated.
Although, in some cases, keratosis pilaris is an inherited condition, meaning that it can only be managed (not prevented).
This does not mean you cannot enjoy skin that is free of strawberry legs. It simply requires more effort and periodic treatments.
Treatment of Strawberry Legs (Clinical)
If you have strawberry legs, you can always visit your skin specialist for clinical treatments.
The two most common treatments for strawberries are electrolysis and laser hair removal.
Electrolysis treatments often hit both the needs of our clients:
- It prevents further hair growth. No more needing to spend your money and time shaving!
- It uses electricity to destroy the irritated hair follicles, removing the problem of strawberry legs.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is VERY popular in the United Kingdom. Many people prefer laser hair removal over electrolysis as it is less painful.
Laser hair removal treatment destroys melanin in the hair using laser beams. Without melanin, the blood flow to the hair follicles is cut off; resulting in the hair follicles to dying out. This prevents further hair growth and strawberry legs.
Laser Hair Removal removes the problem from the root (no pun intended) and has minimal side-effects (you may feel some skin irritations for a few hours). After finishing the treatment, many people often go straight back to their jobs or schools.
Our specialists can work with all hair types, from fine straight hair to thick curly hair. Most of the results with this treatment are permanent and require only one or two annual touch-ups.
To understand more about this treatment and it’s prices, visit our dedicated “laser hair removal” page by clicking HERE.
Treatment of Strawberry Legs (Home-Remedy)
Treating strawberry legs can be a viable option. However, the disadvantage is that you are not guaranteed 100% success from the methods.
Nevertheless, if you want some home remedy that may remove strawberry legs, below are a few of our suggestions. If you are uncertain, it may be good to consult your doctor before trying these treatments.
Exfoliating Your Skin (Physically)
Exfoliation is a great skincare practice to follow. It is even more important if you have strawberry legs.
Exfoliation works by removing dead skin and by unclogging pores. This treatment is effective as it can help soften the skin and remove the oil stuck in your pores.
Regular exfoliation can help in eliminating the dotted spots present in your leg and maintaining clean skin.
It goes without saying that to prevent any future dark spots along your leg, you must also maintain a sanitary shaving habit, use the correct tools and follow a good skin care routine.
Before starting with physical exfoliation, always use a glove or body scrub to maintain clean hygiene and safety.
Exfoliating Your Skin (Chemically)
Chemical exfoliation uses chemical ingredients to rapidly speed up the shedding of dead skin cells.
The most common chemicals for this treatment are AHAs and salicylic acid. As a rule of thumb, using any beta-hydroxy acid can help exfoliate dead skin and unclog pores.
Similar to physical exfoliation, including chemical exfoliation in your skin regimen can help prevent getting strawberry legs. These chemical exfoliation liquids should be used a maximum of two times per day.
For pregnant women and people against chemical acids, we recommend using natural acids for exfoliation like lactic acid or glycolic acid.
This can exfoliate your skin without any further damage.
With any treatment, we strongly recommend you do further research and consult a skin specialist.
Moisturizing the Skin
Moisturizing should be a natural procedure after physical or chemical exfoliation. Your skin must be replenished with critical vitamins and nutrition.
However, moisturizing without any exfoliation is also good. A well-hydrated skin can help shed off dead skin more naturally and at a quicker pace.
Moisturizing will help solve your problem of strawberry legs and at the very least, make the condition less visible to the naked eye.
It is recommended that people with dry skins use rich moisturizers containing shea butter and ceramides.
In general, moisturizers should be used twice a day on your skin but makes sure to double- check the package.
A lot of the problems with strawberry legs occurs due to inflammation.
This can be solved through body icing via a frozen roller or using an ice formula. This can provide a lot of comfort to the skin.
In fact, you can make your OWN ice formula to soothe your inflammation and provide your skin with some very healthy minerals.
An example recipe for the ice formula can be mixing water, pure aloe vera and a few drops of tea tree oil.
Put this mixture in the freezer.
After a few hours, you can massage the ice formula over your skin. This can help remove your strawberry legs.
Waxing your skin
Waxing is a very efficient and common tip to fix strawberry legs.
The great thing about waxing is that it can remove the hair, the hair follicle and the dead cells on the skin. This is unlike shaving, which can often cut the hair from the skin’s surface but leave some significant hair follicles intact.
Another benefit of waxing is that the hair that will re-grow is softer and thinner. This can help you minimize strawberry legs and make future hair removals much easier.
We recommend that all waxing should be done with a professional. Beginners can often use improper waxing technique that annoys the skin and can worsen the strawberry legs condition.
Prevention of Strawberry Legs
The best way to stop getting strawberry legs is to take some precautionary methods.
Below are some that methods that can help you from never getting this condition.
Dry Brushing Your Skin
Perform dry brushing on the day that you plan to shave.
This method is similar to exfoliation and should be done before your shower or bath:
- Acquire a soft dry brush.
- Vigorously rub your legs with the soft dry brush. Make sure to move the brush in a circular motion for the best effect.
- Do not put water or other liquids on your leg until you have finished scrubbing your legs.
- Once you have scrubbed, soak your skin in warm water for around 10 minutes. This will remove any impurities and dead skins cells that are trapped inside your pores.
You can now start shaving with much less worry about getting strawberry legs.
Shaving Using a Quality Razor
Some people say that the quality of your razor does not matter in your shave.
But this is FALSE. There is a vast difference between high quality and low-quality shaving products.
For example, a cheap, low quality razor can get dull very quickly. Often, the blade is not sharp enough to begin with.
With this low-quality razor, you are at a greater change of receiving small cuts from the dull edge of the blade. These cuts may be unpainful but can also cause inflammation to your skin and clog your pores.
We recommend investing in high quality razors that advertise quality, albeit the slightly higher price.
Using a Moisturizing Shaving Cream
Gels and creams are usually part of a shaving tool kit. But using a moisturizing shaving cream can be much more beneficial to the skin.
If you cannot find a moisturizing shaving cream, regular hair conditioner can also work.
Moisturizing shaving creams are applied before shaving. They work by softening the hair and providing a smooth layer of lubricant for easier shaving. In such a way, you are GUARANTEED of receiving a smooth and enjoyable skin surface while removing your hair.
If you are in the shower, try to close off the water supply before applying the moisturizing shaving cream. Water will simply remove all the cream you have applied to your legs and make it much more difficult to shave.
Choosing the Correct Shaving Direction
Many people do not observe the direction in which they shave.
This is NOT a good idea.
To prevent getting strawberry legs, it is best to gently shave in the direction of your hair growth. This helps minimize your chances of severe cuts from happening.
You may have heard some of these other advice for shaving well, but they can also reduce the chance of getting strawberry legs:
- Never shave the same area too many times. This can irritate your hair follicles.
- Do not tighten your skin too much.
- Avoid rubbing the hairless part of your skin after shaving, as the friction generated can inflame your skin. A better alternative is to pat your skin dry.
We also recommend applying a moisturizer or oil to your skin after you shave your hair. While most products work well, coconut oil is not recommended as a suitable post-shave oil. Coconut oil can often block your pores.
Fragrance-free cream or lotions can also be a fantastic way to decrease potential red spots.
Using an epilator
If you are not interested in shaving, you can use an epilator.
This is a machine that can be used at home and removes hair from the follicle. It is similar to waxing but often deemed to be less damaging to the skin.
The only disadvantage to the machine is that it can cause some discomfort and some pain.
Strawberry Legs Solved!
Strawberry legs are not as scary as it seems.
The condition is simply inflamed hair follicles, clogged pores or ingrown hair that make your skin appear to have numerous dots across it. Multiple treatments to this condition can be done clinically or at home.
The benefit of clinical treatment for this condition is that you are guaranteed for results. On the hand, some home remedies do not work (or may even worsen the problem).
It is also essential to learn the prevention methods so that you can safely remove your hair without getting this condition.
We hope that after reading this guide you have received an idea of strawberry legs and how to proceed.
If you are interested in the removal of strawberry legs, then Dr Aesthetica can help.
We can provide high Quality Laser Leg Hair Removal and work on the remaining pigmentation so you can feel confident no matter what you wear.