Obviously, they are not harmful and aren’t linked to any health problems, but they may have a devastating visual effect; taking one quick glance at those prominent dark pores on your legs can ruin your confidence, mood or a date night!
But don’t worry, we are here to help! Our goal is to help you get rid of strawberry legs fast, using natural, homemade remedies and recipes.
Before we go on, though, you need to learn to distinguish strawberry legs from a common shaving rash.
Strawberry Legs VS A Shaving Rash
The correct medical term for strawberry legs is an open comedo. Comedo1 (plural: comedones) is a technical term for a clogged hair follicle in the skin. There are two types of comedones:
- Open – an open comedo is a hair folicle that is open to the air which causes oxydization and black color (blackhead)
- Closed – closed comedo is closed by the skin so the oydization does not happen and the color remains white(whiteheads)
Pores usually get clogged due to bacteria, oil, or dead skin cells buildup (or a mix of the three). Another common cause are ingrown hairs, which are succeptible to irritation, inflammation and clogging.
A shaving rash however, is just a short-lasting skin irritation caused by an aggressive shaving or a dull blade.
It is best to address shaving rash, also called razor burn, before it even occurs, by employing these prevention tips:
- Use light strokes – applying too much pressure is almost guaranteed to case irritation
- Swap dull blades – a dull blade will discomfort,
tugs and pulls during shaving and lead to irritation
- Limit your restrokes – it is etimated that as much as 60% of shaving constitutes of restrokes! Reducing the number of restrokes will reduce the stress to your skin
Medical Definition Of A Hair Follicle
We’ve referenced a hair follicle2 a number of times in the previous text but failed to give a proper explanation of this skin structure.
A hair follicle is a sack from which hair grows (derived from a latin ford follis: bag). A sebaceous (oil) gland opens up into this sack and secretes oils which lubricate our skin.
A healthy hair follicle produces about six inches (15cm) of hair growth per year.
What Causes Strawberry Legs?
By far, the most common (and the most dangerous) cause of these dark spots on the skin is a condition called Folliculitis.
Folliculitis – Causes, Types And Home Treatment
Folliculitis3 is an inflammation in one of more hair follicles. It is a common skin problem and caused by:
- A bacteria
- Or a fungal infection
How Do I Spot Folliculitis?
A common early sign of this condition is small red bumps on the skin or, in some rare cases, white-headed pimples. These pimples and bumps are around the hair and, if not treated properly, might develop into scabs or itchy crust.
Other, more severe symptoms are clusters of puss-filled of blisters, burning or tender skin, and large swollen bumps on the skin.
The condition is not dangerous in itself, but you can make your life worse by scratching it. Excessive scratching will almost certainly lead to an infection, which may lead to permanent hair loss. You might think that a permanent hair loss might be a good thing (you won’t have to shave as much) but hair is connected to the touch receptors in our skin and may serve as a protective warning device.
There are two main types of hair folliculitis: superficial and deep.
Superficial folliculitis affects only a part of the hair follicle. Its common forms are:
- Hot tub folliculitis – also called pseudomonas folliculitis, is caused by pseudomonas bacteria. This bacteria can be found in many places but is most common in hot tubs and pools where chlorine and pH leves are not properly regulated. Exposure to this bacteria causes round, itchy bumps.
- Bacterial folliculitis – is caused by staph bacteria. Staphylococcus bacteria resides on our skin all the time,
but they only cause infection when they penetrate it(when we cut ourself for example). BF will cause white, pus-filled, icthy bumps
- Razor bumps – this is just a common skin irritation caused by ingrown hairs. It is most prominent on the face,
neck and in the bikini area.
- Pityrosporum folliculitis – this type is caused by a yeast infection and results in chronic, itchy pustules.
Deep folliculitis is a bit more dangerous and its most common formes are:
- Sycosis barbae – this type is associated with “first time” shaving and it is benign
- Gram-negative – gram-negative folloclitis is a deep infection caused by staph bacteria
- Boils – painful, pus-filled boils around the hair follicle indicate that a serious infection is raiging. It needs to be addressed immediatelly before it causes major damage
- Sosinopilic folliculitis – this type only affects people with AIDS/HIV. Its exact cause is still unknown, one thing we do know is that these itchy bumps may make the skin darker as they heal
Shaving is the most common cause of strawberry legs as it leads to ingrown hair.
Most cut hairs will grow back through the skin once you cut them; while some may start developing underneath it. This occurrence is more common in individuals with thick hair, as opposed to ones with thin, fine hair.
Since the hair starts growing into the skin, our body refers to it as a “foreign object,” and our immune system responds accordingly by “attacking it.”
This is when the symptoms start to appear – itching, burning, swelling, and white bumps.
In some cases, the skin around the follicle may become slightly darker, leading to strawberry skin appearance.
Properly moisturized skin is a healthy skin. What happens in dry summer months (as well as those cold, windy ones) is that your skin dries out.
Dried out skin loses its ability to shed dead cells effectively, so they start building up. This buildup will, in turn, hinder skin shedding even more and cause even more significant problems(might also lead to an infection).
The solution? Using a proper moisturizer will usually do the trick.
Our age-old archnemesis – acne! Acne is so common and widespread that most of us had them at least at some point in their lives(some still do).
Acne commonly occurs in puberty as this is the time when oil production kicks into high gear. Though they are not dangerous, they can leave nasty scars… on your skin as well as on your self-esteem.
Oil glands are to blame here as they will clog your pores and cause dead skin cells and dirt buildup. Though the pores are clogged, they remain opened, come in contact with air and oxidize, which results in hyperpigmentation(darker skin).
How Do You Get Rid Of Strawberry Legs
Finally, we get to the section you’ve all been waiting for – how to get rid of these dark spots! The crucial thing to remember here is clearing up your pores.
So, in the following paragraphs, we’ll be covering some of the most effective ways you can unclog your pores, keep your skin clean and get rid of strawberry legs.
Efoliate With Baking Soda
- Wash your legs with warm water and pat them dry using a cotton towel
- Grab a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and some water
- Mix to form a paste
- Apply the paste and rub in circular motions for 2-3 minutes over the affected area
- If you run out of paste just add more baking soda
- Once you are done rubbing, wash the debris off with warm water and pat your legs dry
- Apply toner to moisturize and seal off the pores
Baking soda is one of the best, low-cost scrubbing agents you can use since it will soften the sebum, open up your pores, scrub the debris, but do it gently. It won’t damage or irritate your skin but will do a proper job of cleaning it!
Cucumber And Sugar Body Scrub
- Grab a blender and add 2 cups of white sugar, 11/2 cup of cucumber, 1/2 cup of coconut oil
- Blend 30-60 seconds, pour into a glass jar and put into a refridgerator
- After one hour, grab your jar and apply your scrub to the problematic area
- Rub for 2-3 minutes and then move on to the next area
- After you are done wash it away with hot water and pat your legs dry
- Apply a toner
Cucumber is a fantastic moisturizer, so it won’t dry your skin as you exfoliate. Natural vegetable oils found in it will also lighten your skin and detoxify and improve your complexion.
DIY Green Tea Scrub For Strawberry Legs
- Wash your legs with warm water and pat dry
- Grab a bowl and add contents of 4 green tea bags, 11/2 of white sugar and 1/2 of coconut oil
- Mix it into a paste
- Apply to your skin in circular motions for 2 minutes
- Wash it off and pat yourself dry
In addition to drinking green tea, you can reap its benefits by applying it to the skin. Studies have shown that it protects the skin from harmful effects of the sun, acts as antioxidant and even has anti-inflammatory properties.
Using An Epilator Instead Of Shaving
Of course, you don’t need me to tell you that using an epilator is painful, lasts longer, and may cause skin irritation initially.
If we compare it to shaving, it doesn’t stand a chance! Or does it?
Though shaving is quicker and less painful, it comes with a few noticeable drawbacks – the hair grows back faster and thicker, leave you with a stubby look, the possibility of cutting yourself and, of course, causing ingrown hair and strawberry legs!
Though using an epilator will hurt at first, most users agree that the pain tolerance increases over time and it hurts way less. So, once you get over that initial hurdle, you can reap some of the benefits that come with using it:
- The hair will grow slower and be thinner
- Skin will look and feel smoother
- Less ingrown hair
- Decreased probability for strawberry legs
Aloe Vera Sugar Scrub
- Mix 2 tablespoons of aloe vera, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Mix into a paste
- Apply and rub for at least 1 minute over the problematic area
- After you are done, rinse it off and pat yourself dry
Aloe vera is an amazing plant as it fights acne, cleanses your skin, has anti-inflammatory properties, and nourishes your skin.
And as for lemon juice, it will scrub excess dirt and grime from your skin, exfoliate but also make your skin lighter. Lemon is rich in vitamin C and citric acid which may, over time, make your skin appear brighter.
No, we didn’t switch to talking about headaches. Actually, salicylic acid, a derivative of acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), has been used for centuries (dating as far back as 5th century BC) to remove excess skin oil and dead skin cell buildup.
It will also clear up redness, swelling, repair your damaged hair follicles, and lessen the effects of a skin infection.
Sea Salt Scrub
Making a sea salt scrub is easy and simple, as long as you buy sea salt and coconut oil.
All you need is one cup of sea salt and a half a cup of oil, and you are good to go. Mix if for a few minutes and rub it on your skin in circular motions.
Make sure you buy fine sea salt as coarse salt is too abrasive.
Alpha And Beta Hydroxy Acid
Both alpha and beta hydroxy acids are used in skincare industry to exfoliate the skin.
The only difference between the two is that AHA is water soluble while BHA is only soluble in oils.
Though they are becoming increasingly popular, no definitive scientific studies are proving their effectiveness.
How To Prevent Strawberry Legs?
When it comes to strawberry legs (as with many other skin conditions), it is better to work on preventing it then addressing it after it has already happened.
Since the main reason, you get ingrown hairs, stubs, and strawberry legs is shaving, we are going to offer you some tips to make it as smooth as possible.
We’ll start with the razor. Make sure it’s:
- Clean – many bacteria can reside on the razor without you even knowing it. A single use can result in whole colonies of bacteria, so using a disposable razor is a sound option.
If you don’t want to have to buy a new razor everytime you shave,
you can clean the one you have after use. All you need to do is rinse it under hot water and after it’s fully dry, submerge it in alcohol for a few seconds
- Sharp – a dull blade will tug and pull on your hair and cause irritation, so make sure the blade is sharp before you commit to shaving
Before you even start shaving, you should try exfoliating your legs, keeping the skin on your legs clean and healthy will ensure a smoother shave.
And after you are done shaving, you should try washing your legs in cold water, without soap(as it may irritate the skin). After you pat your legs dry, apply some gentle aftershave and put on something cozy until your skin goes back to normal.
1. Oford Dictionary – Comedo
2. Medicinenet – Medical Definition Of A Hair Follicle
3. MedlinePlus – Folliculitis
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