What are strawberry legs?
POV: You're embracing the summer sun by finally wearing your favorite little dress that shows off your legs, and then you notice some strange discoloration that does not at all go with your look.
If you’ve noticed little black, brown, or reddish dots on your legs, you might have what's known as "strawberry legs." Don’t worry — strawberry legs aren’t anything serious. The little dark-colored dots on your legs, which resemble strawberry seeds, are simply clogged pores. The open comedones that cause the appearance of strawberry legs are hair follicles or enlarged pores that contain oil, bacteria, and dead skin. Why does this happen? One cause is when the follicle or clogged pore is exposed after shaving, and air reaches the oil inside. The pore then oxidizes and turns dark. Other causes of strawberry legs include keratosis pilaris, a harmless skin condition that causes small bumps and rough patches, and folliculitis, which is when hair follicles become infected or inflamed.
How to treat and prevent strawberry legs
Depending on what's causing your strawberry legs, you can treat them at home or with the help of your dermatologist. There are many things you can do to help keep your legs glowing and smooth, including:
1. Shave the right way
Always shave in the direction the hair is growing in to minimize the potential for ingrown hairs. And be sure to change your razor frequently since dull razors can lead to irritation. You should also only shave your skin when it's damp and use a cream to reduce cuts.
2. Exfoliate regularly
To help eliminate dead skin cells, gently exfoliate the skin on the legs with alpha hydroxy acids, which also help to unclog pores. Another option is a physical exfoliant, such as a body wash, that improves overall skin texture and tone.
3. Moisturize your skin
With certain skin conditions, such as keratosis pilaris, it's essential that you both exfoliate and moisturize your skin to reduce inflammation. Look for body lotions containing salicylic acid and lactic acid that break down dead skin cells.
4. Use products containing different acids
Skincare ingredients used to treat keratosis pilaris are helpful for the many causes of strawberry legs. For instance, salicylic acid breaks down dead skin cells, lactic acid brightens, and urea smooths and softens. These acids work together to unclog follicles and lessen the risk of ingrown hairs.
5. Avoid tight-fitting clothing
Strawberry legs can also form due to friction while wearing tight clothing during workouts. This can lead to folliculitis when hair follicles become inflamed and infected. Be sure to wear loose-fitting clothes, and then shower and change right after your workout.
Say goodbye to strawberry legs once and for all with laser hair removal
Tired of dealing with strawberry legs? Then think about getting laser hair removal. Because laser hair removal targets and destroys hair follicles, leading to permanent hair reduction, it's an excellent way to treat and prevent strawberry legs. That's because hair removal methods that remove hair from the skin's surface, like shaving and sugaring, can lead to strawberry legs. Want to learn more about hair removal options? Check out LaserAway, the nation's leading aesthetic dermatological provider.
Alyssia Ready is based in Seattle, Washington, and works as a social media specialist in the travel sector. In her spare time, Alyssia enjoys practicing Pilates and playing with her Husky, Pickett.