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After shaving, you expect to touch silky smooth legs. However, there can be times when you find small, dark bumps instead. You’ve got strawberry legs.
Named after the dark seeds of the fruit, strawberry legs are mostly harmless. However, many people don’t like how they feel or look. If they bother you, there are ways to eliminate them and get smoother legs.
What are Strawberry Legs?
Strawberry legs refer to dotted skin on the legs. The dots are small red or black bumps that appear in the same pattern as your hair follicles. In that way, they look like the pattern of strawberry seeds.
What are these bumps anyway? They are pores and follicles clogged with oil, dirt and bacteria. Strawberry legs are more visible when someone has dark or thick hair or larger pores. These bumps are not usually painful or itchy unless an underlying skin condition is causing it.
What Causes Strawberry Legs?
Several factors can cause the strawberry-like appearance of pores on your legs. Here are some of the most common ones:
Shaving with Dull Razors
One of the most common reasons behind strawberry legs is shaving with old, dull razors. Old razors aren’t as sharp or effective at shaving anymore, so your remaining hair can appear as strawberry legs. Dull razors can also make you develop razor burns, which can be uncomfortable and itchy.
The main reason behind strawberry legs is clogged pores or follicles. Your leg hair follicles can be clogged with bacteria, dead skin, oil and dirt. These clogs can appear dark and cause the strawberry seed look on your legs.
Wrong Shaving Technique
Using your razor wrong can lead to irritation and possible infection. Shaving against the grain, pulling on your skin or repeatedly shaving the same area can cause issues that lead to strawberry legs.
Folliculitis happens when your follicles become inflamed due to bacteria. It can happen because of shaving, waxing or applying too much friction on the skin.
This skin condition can appear as red, pimple-like bumps. They are also quite itchy and painful. However, the spots can darken and cause strawberry legs.
Keratosis pilaris (KP), more commonly known as chicken skin, is a skin condition that causes bumps in the skin. KP bumps are painless, usually accompanied by rough, dry skin patches. They typically appear around the upper arm and thigh areas.
KP can cause legs to have a strawberry-like appearance. Unfortunately, KP has no cure or prevention, so your best course of action is to continuously moisturize your legs and avoid harsh, drying products. The good news is chicken skin usually goes away on its own once you turn 30.
Having dry skin doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have strawberry legs. However, it can increase the chance for it to develop. Dehydrated skin can make your legs susceptible to irritation and razor burns. You can also develop folliculitis. Moreover, dry skin can make KP, folliculitis and razor burns more visible, causing a strawberry-seed appearance on your legs.
Ways to Get Rid of Strawberry Legs
When it comes to treating strawberry legs, prevention is the best course of action. You can eliminate it by caring for your skin before, during and after shaving. Here are some tips you can follow:
Dry brushing your skin before shaving can help prevent strawberry legs from developing. This technique is a body massage done with a soft, dry brush. Dry brushing can help increase circulation, exfoliate dry skin cells and promote detoxification.
A day or two before you shave, start dry brushing your legs. Brush your legs in long strokes and continuous, circular motions. Do this process right before you take a bath or shower.
Change Razors Regularly
Change your razors regularly. Old, used razors can be a breeding ground for bacteria, which can go directly into your skin as you shave. The dull blades can also cause many issues that can cause strawberry legs. Regularly changing your razors can help you achieve a clean shave without razor burns or other issues.
Shaving With the Grain
When shaving, you must apply the proper techniques to minimize the irritation and any chances of infection. Don’t pull your skin when shaving. Instead, slowly and carefully shave with the grain or toward hair growth. Don’t shave the same area repeatedly. Use sharp and new razors to shave hair cleanly in just one stroke.
Use Shaving Cream
To help achieve a smoother shave, remember to use shaving cream. Don’t use soaps or shower gels as a substitute. Shaving cream is formulated to help prevent any issues, so always apply it before bringing out your razor.
Be Gentle on Newly Shaved Skin
After shaving, be gentle on your skin. Dab your legs dry with a soft towel. Don’t wear tight clothes that rub on your legs for a few days after shaving. You want to avoid aggravating newly shaved skin, which is sensitive and prone to irritation.
If you’re shaving and exfoliating regularly, you also need to moisturize. Adding moisture to your skin can help prevent irritation, razor burns and clogging. Choose lotions and moisturizers that are non-comedogenic and fragrance-free. For best results, moisturize your skin right after you take a bath or a shower to lock in moisture.
Use Physical Exfoliants
Since strawberry legs are caused mainly by clogged follicles, cleansing and exfoliating should be your priority. Getting rid of dirt, dead skin and bacteria on your legs prevents them from entering the pores. You should periodically clean your legs with an antibacterial soap and an exfoliating glove. You can also use other physical exfoliants like sugar and salt scrubs to help you slough off dead skin.
Use Chemical Exfoliants
You can also use chemical exfoliants to help you remove dead skin cells without scrubbing your skin. Exfoliants like salicylic and glycolic acid can help dissolve dead skin cells and leave your skin feeling smooth. You can use lotions and body washes containing these ingredients to help you manage the skin on your legs. If you’ll be wearing shorts outside, remember to put on sunscreen as chemical exfoliants can make skin sensitive to the sun.
Consider Other Hair Removal Methods
If strawberry legs truly bother you, shaving might not be the best hair removal method for you. There are plenty of other ways available at varying price points. You can go for waxing, laser hair removal and electrolysis treatments to help you manage your leg hair.
Get Smoother Legs
Although strawberry legs aren’t harmful, you might not like their appearance. Taking steps to care for your skin during every part of the shaving process can help you prevent and eliminate strawberry legs for good.
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