When black dots appear on the legs, it is referred to as strawberry legs because the skin pores look pitted, like the seed of strawberries. This article will discuss the causes of strawberry legs, how to recognize them, treatment, and easy ways to prevent them.
If you like to take the leg shaving route, you may be prone to having strawberry legs. That’s because hair removal is one of the major causes of this skin problem, as it exposes the pores. The open pores only appear dark when the open pores or hair follicles get clogged with dead skin cells, oil, or other items such as bacteria.
Of course, Hair removal on the legs is an essential part of grooming the body for some. Imagine how we’d all look if we didn’t shave? Then again, not everyone has to go through the stress of shaving when they are not so hairy.
What are Strawberry Legs/Skin?
Strawberry leg is not a condition on its own but a way to categorize several skin conditions that cause visible dark spots to appear on the body. These conditions usually correspond with skin areas with large pores or a density of hair follicles. They are generally not associated with pain or discomfort, as they are only pitted or dark pores on the skin.
When it becomes painful or inflamed, you will need to visit a doctor. However, strawberry legs are considered non-threatening since they occur due to lousy shaving choices and trapped hair follicles and oils.
Causes of Strawberry Legs
There are several causes of strawberry legs, as the body’s appearance covers different skin conditions. Some of these causes coincide to form the black dots, and they are listed below.
Shaving is not the cause here, but doing so without shaving cream or with a blunt razor can cause strawberry legs. The occurrence may also come as a result of different skin reactions. For one, the dull razor can give skin burn, which causes folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles).
Another way is forming ingrown hairs that may start appearing like strawberry legs. This happens due to the skin darkening around the hair follicle due to shaving irritation. Shaving can open the skin pores, leaving the oil-clogged pores exposed, which turn dark after oxidizing by getting in contact with air.
This condition occurs when hair follicles become infected and thus inflamed. And it usually happens after hair removal procedures, not limited to shaving and waxing. Such methods open the hair follicles exposes them to several harmful organisms such as bacteria and yeast.
Bathing in an unregulated hot tub containing chemicals can also cause folliculitis. Other times, folliculitis starts as ingrown hairs that are contenting to get to the surface but get darkened to form strawberry legs.
3. Clogged skin pores
On the skin surface, countless pores act as a channel from the surface to the inner layers of the skin. But like all other channels, they can become blocked with dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells. Open comedones have become used to describe this condition when the pores are clogged.
When the oil trapped inside the pores gets exposed to air due to shaving, it turns black. Sometimes, strawberry legs are associated with large natural pores or thick body hair, and this will help you recognize them easily.
4. Trapped sweat
Wearing tight clothes in humid weather conditions can trap sweat in the skin. Organisms like bacteria thrive in such situations and, in turn, block the pores. It increases your chances of getting strawberry legs when it combines with the oils and dead skin cells already present.
Suffice to say that leaving sweaty legging on for extended hours is not ideal after a workout since it is one of the easiest ways for bumps and pimples to form on the skin, which could result from folliculitis that will eventually lead to strawberry legs.
5. Dehydrated skin
When your skin is dehydrated, it can lead to several skin conditions, including aggravating symptoms of strawberry legs. The pores themselves do not just darken because it is dry but becomes prone to it. In such cases, when you shave, it will irritate the skin more because it is overly dry. And as such, you are exposed to conditions such as folliculitis that causes strawberry legs. Also, when the skin is dry, all other skin issues become very visible on it.
6. Keratosis pilaris
The skin condition referred to as Keratosis pilaris is mild and does not cause any serious health risk. However, they commonly appear on the skin of the upper arms and thigh areas. And occur when protein keratin accumulates in tiny bits and combines with dead upper skin cells.
They look like tiny pimples and goosebumps, but on touch, they feel stiff. They are also quite itchy when left on their own, and proper moisturizing can soothe the itch since keratosis pilaris is caused by dry skin, as they are more visible in humid climates.
Symptoms of strawberry legs
The symptoms of strawberry legs are pretty easy to spot, although they can take the form of other skin conditions. Here are a few ways to know if you have it. On looking, you will notice dots appearing on your legs
- The open pores of your legs darken
- After shaving, you spot black dots on your legs
Other symptoms such as irritation and itching may result from other conditions that appear like strawberry legs. It is best to seek advice from a doctor to determine the correct skin issues you might be having.
Strawberry legs can get treated in different ways, based on the severity of the case. That’s because, in some instances, at-home remedies can get rid of it, while for others, they will need to visit skin professionals.
1. OTC acne products
Acne creams or cleansers that contain salicylic or glycolic acid can reduce the appearance of dry skin. In one way, they prevent your skin from getting dry. They also treat conditions that may exacerbate your strawberry skin. And there are some great examples available over the counter that can free up the pores with continued use.
2. Moisturize your skin generously
Applying moisturizer should be a daily routine that you do thoroughly, especially if you have dry skin. When the skin is moist, it appears better and reduces the signs of strawberry legs. Be consistent in applying a moisturizing lotion and ensure it is free of harmful chemicals. Natural-based or organic body lotions should be your options.
3. Clinical treatment
If the condition is not improving after, try the above home remedies. Professionals may suggest permanent hair removal procedures such as laser therapy and electrolysis.
– Laser therapy
This involves using light radiation focused on beams that target hair and permanently removing them. Although it can take several sessions before all the hair becomes wholly removed, the procedure doesn’t cause any damage to the skin cells.
It is a procedure that uses low electricity levels precisely to remove hair follicles. A tiny needle becomes placed into the hair follicles. The electric shocks kill off follicles permanently, which rids hair growth and ingrown hairs that cause folliculitis. However, it is excruciating since individual strands have to be treated and will take a series of sessions to clear a large skin area.
– Prescription therapy
If you are diagnosed with folliculitis, professionals can prescribe several forms of treatment to care for such infected hair follicles. They may prescribe oral antibiotic drugs or topical antibiotic creams for surface application. Any form of antifungal therapy may be prescribed to you when it is a fungal infection.
Healthy skin routine changes put you on the right track to clear skin. Doing the everyday things more healthily is best for your skin. And such differences include:
– Exfoliate your skin regularly
Exfoliation is a gentle way to remove dead skin cells from the surface area. If you are one of those who only do this as a facial routine, you should start including your legs. It helps to treat strawberry legs and prevents ingrown hairs.
When the dead skin cells get scrubbed off, the hair trapped inside the pores can grow out quickly while you maintain healthy-looking skin.
– Dry Brushing
When you plan on shaving, try dry brushing your legs 2 or 3 days before the day. Invest in a soft dry brush and use it on your legs before showering. After brushing, soak your legs in lukewarm water to wash out dirt and trapped dead skin cells.
– Shaving carefully
Whenever you need to shave, try to do so correctly, using a good quality razor that will get the job done in one stroke, rather than using a dull razor that will require repeating the strokes, inflaming the skin, and clogging the pores. The right way to shave is to follow the direction of hair growth to prevent ingrown hairs.
– Moisturizing shaving cream
The standard shaving cream will not cut it when you plan on preventing strawberry legs. It is best to use moisturizing shaving cream, just like a conditioner. Such products will soften hairs to ease shaving, as it hydrates the skin while you shave to prevent irritation.
– Use of epilators
Trapped hair follicles and wrong shaving skills cause strawberry legs. Enter an epilator to save the day, an electric tool that removes hair from the roots. It has become an essential hair removal tool; you place the handheld device on the skin for the magic to happen. They reduce the risk of ingrown hairs and razor burn trauma on the skin due to shaving.
– Skincare routine
If you are dealing with strawberry legs, you may need to avoid getting hot showers. It strips away body oils and makes the skin dry when staying moisturized should be a priority. Showering with lukewarm water is the best for preventing such skin conditions. You should also avoid using alcohol-based cleansers and creams to dry the skin.
– Body freezing
You can use cooling items to suit skin irritations that shaving causes. You can customize a preventive formula that will soothe any condition. Combining drops of tea tree oil with water and aloe vera is excellent for massaging your legs before hair removal.
In summary, the strawberry legs are used to describe prominent dark dots on the skin. It is not harmful unless it occurs because of an infected hair follicle or other skin condition. There are few ways to rid strawberry legs of happening; when at-home remedies do not work, visit a dermatologist for proper diagnosis. It is best to prevent them from showing up by practicing a great skincare routine.
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