Ever wondered what those tiny dark spots or bumps at the side of each hair follicle on your legs are? They look similar to the seeds on the skin of a strawberry hence the name ‘Strawberry Legs’. Often confused as a shaving rash, strawberry legs are actually comedones; they are caused by clogged pores or clogged hair follicles. This is something I personally struggle with and often don’t feel comfortable talking about. After doing some research and finding out that strawberry legs are extremely common, (affecting millions of people every year and is most commonly found in people with darker skin), I figured I might as well find out and share more information on how to get rid of them.
What causes Strawberry Legs?
The cause of strawberry legs can vary from person to person. These pesky dark spots can appear as a result of:
- Generally having enlarged pores: – As a result, the widened pores easily trap bacteria, oil and dead skin cells which oxidize in the open air and turn dark. Similar to how blackheads form.
- Folliculitis: – This is probably the most common reason behind those dark spots. Folliculitis is a common skin condition in which the hair follicles become inflamed and sometimes infected as a result of ingrown hairs from poor shaving habits.
- Keratosis Pilaris: – Also known as follicular keratosis. This is a common but harmless condition that causes small hard bumps on the thighs, upper arms, buttocks and sometimes the face. The bumps caused by keratosis are accumulations of keratin and dead skin cells. Keratosis gives off the appearance of goose bumps or ‘chicken skin’. Some people are more genetically prone to Keratosis Pilaris than others and this condition tends to be seasonal; appearing frequently during dry, cold months.
The term strawberry legs actually encompasses a variety of conditions that present themselves with the similar pattern of visible skin pores, raised bumps and dark spots beneath the surface layer of the skin.
How do you treat Strawberry Legs?
Below are a few home remedies that prove to be effective at getting rid or at the very least reducing the appearance of these bumps.
Exfoliating: – This seems to be the biggest tip. Regularly exfoliating will easily slough off dead skin cells and prevents the formation of keratin plugs. You can do this with a store-bought scrub but it’s more advisable to make your own. The most recommended one is using brown sugar and aloe Vera gel. Mix the two up until you have a thick paste.
Use baking soda: – Make a paste using baking soda and warm water. Work this paste into the skin then allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off with cold water. Baking soda works as an anti-inflammatory. The natural cleansing action of baking soda will help unclog the pores and exfoliate the skin.
Use an Epilator for hair removal: – You can prevent strawberry skin by shaving less or not shaving at all. However if the above is not an option for you, consider switching from regular razors to using an epilator. An epilator is a hand held device with a bunch of tweezers that move rapidly around a rotating drum to pluck any unwanted hair from the roots. Epilating is more effective than shaving and the results last between 3-6 weeks. Although using an epilator can be extremely painful, evidence suggests that this form of hair removal can prevent strawberry legs from occurring.
Moisturize: – Thoroughly moisturizing your skin should serve to alleviate and prevent strawberry legs from occurring. A lotion containing (AHA’s) – Alpha Hydroxyl Acid such as glycolic acid is best suited for those with this condition. It will work by both hydrating and exfoliating the skin as it is a chemical exfoliate.
Other clinical options for removing strawberry legs include: laser hair removal and using chemical peels to remove dead skin.
PS: These tips are not a one-time thing. You have to be consistent to see results.
Featured image courtesy of Yulia.