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  5. What Are Strawberry Legs? + How To Get Rid Of Them?

Are you experiencing dark spots on your legs due to enlarged or clogged pores? You could be experiencing strawberry legs. While you may want to wear your favorite pair of shorts this summer, strawberry legs can leave you feeling conscious.

The condition poses a problem for people who love to shave their legs or are professionally required to do so. With strawberry legs often leading to social stigma, the condition also causes irritation and severe itchiness as well.

Learn which skin dosha is causing your strawberry legs and how you can treat it with natural remedies.

Our Ayurvedic Doctor’s Opinion

“Employing dinacharya or routine of oil massage and Udvartana (using dry powder body scrubs) in the oppositie direction of hair growth can greatly benefit conditions like Keratosis pilaris.”

Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix

What Is The Meaning Of Strawberry Legs?

Strawberry legs is not really a skin condition in itself. However, it is the result of other skin conditions and hygiene habits. If you have strawberry legs, you will have dark dots on your legs that resemble the outer skin of a strawberry.

The hair pores on your legs, also called comedones, may get congested due to various reasons and lead to strawberry legs. Though this is not a harmful skin condition, there are ways to get rid of it.

What Causes Strawberry Legs?

1. Folliculitis

infection hair follicles

This is the most prevalent reason for strawberry legs. Folliculitis is a skin condition that causes inflammation, infection and irritation in the hair follicles all over the body, especially your legs. [1]

  • Here, not only does the skin on your legs turn like strawberry skin, but your legs might also appear darker, turn red or even swell up. Here are some types of folliculitis:
  • Staphylococcus aureus folliculitis: This is caused by a particular type of bacteria that gets trapped in your hair follicles, making them red and filling them with pus.
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa folliculitis: The bacteria causing this type of folliculitis is found in public water bodies like swimming pools and saunas. This condition makes your skin pores red and itchy.
  • Malassezia folliculitis: This is caused by a kind of yeast that may get trapped in your hair follicles and cause irritation. This condition can aggravate and cause acne if not treated in time.
  • Pseudofolliculitis barbae: This causes bumps on the shaved areas of your legs. If you have dark, thick and curly body hair, you are more likely to have pseudofolliculitis barbae.
  • Sycosis barbae: This occurs due to shaving your legs and can be much worse than the others. This condition is an indication that your hair follicles have become infected. It can be due to unsanitized razor blades, unhygienic shaving techniques or simply due to an unhealed cut.
  • Gram-negative folliculitis: This is usually a reaction to the antibiotics that you take in order to treat an acne problem.’

2. Shaving

woman shaving her legs with razor

Shaving is another main reason for strawberry legs. If you shave your legs incorrectly or use inappropriate tools for shaving, the hair may grow back incorrectly. The hair does not sprout out of the pores properly and causes inflammation and tiny bumps on your legs like strawberry skin.

These inflamed pores can also be painful and itchy. To check whether shaving is causing your strawberry legs, here are some symptoms that you can look out for:

  • Small dark bumps on the razed patches of the skin.
  • Bumps that are filled with pus after a few days of shaving.
  • The shaved areas of your legs become darker in color.
  • The raised bumpy pores become itchy and painful.
  • You can feel the new hair being stuck at the tip of the pore and unable to sprout.

3. Acne

If the hair follicles on your skin produce more sebum than needed to provide moisture to your skin, it can clog your pores. These clogged pores lead to acne. Bacteria that naturally reside in your skin may also get trapped in the clogged pores and cause acne. Acne occurring on the legs with whiteheads or open blackheads, may also look like strawberry legs. This condition is usually seen in people between the age of 11-30.

Other factors that can cause acne-induced strawberry legs are:

  • Hormonal changes in women during pregnancy or menstrual cycles.
  • Imbalance in hormones during puberty in both men and women.
  • Tight uncomfortable clothes that irritate the skin.
  • Environmental conditions like high humidity and heat.
  • Tendency to sweat a lot.
  • Reaction to medication.

Keratosis Pilaris affects almost 0.75%-34% of the adult population. This condition also results in strawberry legs.

4. Dry Skin

A vata-dominant or dry skin can also lead to strawberry legs. When shaved, excessively dry skin can also cause strawberry legs. Dry skin also instigates keratosis pilaris[2] and folliculitis, which when shaved with a razor can burn your skin.

Symptoms Of Strawberry Legs

There are various signs that can indicate that you have strawberry legs:

  • Bumpy, dotted and pitted skin on your legs.
  • Darkening of the skin around your pores.
  • Presence of black and brown dots on your legs after shaving.
  • Itching, scabbing and irritated skin after hair removal.

How To Get Rid Of Strawberry Legs?

A. Home Remedies

Be careful while shaving. Use proper blades and apply a moisturizing lotion after shaving. Remember to shave in the direction of hair growth.

Use an epilator or wax strips instead of shaving with a razor.

Moisturize your skin regularly as a lack of moisture can force your skin to produce excess sebum and lead to acne. This in turn can lead to strawberry legs.

Exfoliate your skin regularly. Exfoliation removes the dead skin from the surface of your legs. With the dead cells gone, the fresh new hair gets more space to grow properly.

Use over-the-counter medication on your legs that contain salicylic acid or glycolic acid for treating your acne.

Take a buttermilk bath. Buttermilk is rich in lactic acid which is a natural chemical exfoliant. Add a cup of buttermilk to a bucket of water and soak your legs in that water for a few minutes. Take a shower after that. This can be done every day.

B. Ayurvedic Remedies

Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix says, “Employing dinacharya or routine of oil massage and Udvartana (using dry powder body scrubs) in the opposite direction of hair growth can greatly benefit conditions like Keratosis pilaris.”

A few beneficial remedies include,

1. Aloe Vera

aloe vera gel bowl on wooden

It is a popularly known fact that aloe vera is a natural moisturizer. It also heals your skin and keeps it hydrated. [3] You can use it in two ways:

Scoop out the gel from a fresh aloe vera leaf. Apply the gel on your strawberry legs and massage them gently. Leave it for 10 minutes and rinse it with cold water. You can follow this procedure every day.

You can also prepare a sugar and aloe vera scrub. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel and 1-2 tablespoons of coconut or sesame oil. Apply this over your strawberry legs and massage for 15 minutes in circular motion. Wash off with water and apply a moisturizer. You can follow this procedure thrice a week.

2. Rose Water And Cucumber Scrub

Make a homemade scrub with a cup of minced cucumber, 4-5 tablespoons of rose water and 1-2 drops of an essential oil that suits your skin type. Mix the ingredients and apply the mixture on your legs for 15 minutes. Wash off with cold water and apply a moisturizer. Follow this for 15 days and note the difference.

3. Essential Oils

Essential oils like tea tree oil and jojoba oil are very useful for dry skin because both of them have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. [4] These oils can also heal wounds faster and treat skin problems like dryness and itching. You can simply mix both the essential oils and apply on your strawberry legs and let them absorb for 5-10 minutes. [5]

C. Medical Treatments

1. Electrolysis

This procedure requires the use of low levels of electricity on the affected hair follicles. This helps in preventing ingrown hair.

2. Laser Therapy

beautician removes hair on female legs

This therapy includes multiple procedures that can remove your body hair permanently or at least for a long period of time. [6]

3. Chemical Exfoliants

Chemical exfoliants like AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) help to loosen the closely bonded dead skin cells and detach them from your face gently without any scrubbing.

Both lactic acid and glycolic acid are AHAs and help to exfoliate your skin in a way that cures your strawberry skin. Lactic acid helps in removing dead skin and repairing the natural barrier of your skin, which then reduces strawberry leg symptoms.

Ways To Prevent Strawberry Legs

Now that we have learned about strawberry leg remedies, here is how you can prevent it in the first place:

  • Use a proper shaving cream while shaving.
  • Use sanitized and fresh razors.
  • Moisturize your skin before and after shaving.
  • Exfoliate your legs regularly.
  • Shave in the direction of your hair.

Vedix Tip:

An efficient way to exfoliate your skin at home and prevent ingrown hair is by dry brushing. This process involves rubbing your skin with a soft-bristled brush.

When To Consult A Dermatologist About Strawberry Legs?

While strawberry legs are not a harmful condition in itself, consult your dermatologist in the following circumstances.

  • If the bumps on your skin that have appeared after shaving are filling up with pus or are becoming increasingly irritating and itchy.
  • If your skin is getting patchy and dark after shaving.
  • Also, consult a dermatologist before going for any remedy or over-the-counter medication for strawberry legs.

Frequently Asked Questions On Strawberry Legs

1. Are Strawberry Legs Permanent?

If you follow home remedies and medical treatments properly under the guidance of a dermatologist it is possible to remove strawberry legs in some time. So, you don’t have to worry about your strawberry legs being permanent.

2. Do Strawberry Legs Go Away On Their Own?

Strawberry legs do not always go away naturally as it is mostly dependent on your skin type and dosha. But, there are chances that your skin texture changes with time.

3. How Long Does It Take To Heal Strawberry Legs?

Depending on the natural and Ayurvedic remedies that you are using, curing strawberry legs can take up to a month or two.

4. What Causes A Strawberry Hemangioma?

baby's face with infantile Hemangioma

A strawberry hemangioma is not the same as strawberry legs since it is a reddish mark that appears on your body since birth. This happens due to a collection of blood vessels just below the surface of the skin. If not attended to on time, this can even lead to a tumor. [7]

The Last Word

Strawberry legs can be an unsightly condition. Consulting a dermatologist for any skin-related problem is a must especially if the home remedies do not help. It is true that vata dominant or people with dry skin have more chances of developing strawberry legs. However, other skin doshas can also lead to the condition. It is advisable to consult an Ayurvedic expert before applying any Ayurvedic remedy to cure your strawberry legs.

Know Your Dosha Now

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