POPSUGAR posted "Here’s How to Avoid “Strawberry Legs” After Shaving" featuring Dr. Purvisha Patel.
The article includes Dr. Patel’s expert insights on leg shaving, including how to avoid "strawberry legs" when you shave.
Strawberry legs are a common occurrence that happens after shaving your legs.
This typically manifests as tiny red bumps on the skin.
A dermatologist answers all your questions, including how to get rid of strawberry legs.
Of the several different hair removal methods out there, shaving might be the only one that's gained a wider reputation for being fast, easy, and painless — well, if you're doing it correctly. Still, that's not to say that it doesn't come with its own set of drawbacks. For starters, even the smoothest, most stubble-free finish can leave you with razor bumps and burns, and in some cases, tiny dark spots on your skin also known as "strawberry legs."
Strawberry legs, though not particularly fun to deal with, are incredibly common among people who shave different parts of their bodies. If you're looking for tips on how to prevent them from popping up, Dr. Patel is sharing a little more insight on what you can do to help.
What Are Strawberry Legs?
"Strawberry legs are when the skin of the legs has dark dots in a follicular distribution, so they look like strawberries," dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare, Purvisha Patel, MD, told POPSUGAR. "There may also be swelling of the skin and the hair follicles look slightly indented or raised like the surface of a strawberry."
What Causes Strawberry Legs?
Your hair follicles can begin to look like dark spots for a handful of reasons, most of which are related to the pigmentation that occurs right after the follicle is inflamed or irritated in any way.
"We're mammals and we're covered in hair follicles and pores," Dr. Patel says. "It could be from not exfoliating, as the pores get blocked with oil and debris, sloppy shaving technique with a dull razor, since the hair may get cut at an angle and when it grows back it can look like a black dot in the follicle, or non-moisturized skin that becomes irritated, causing an increase in appearance of the follicles."
The dark spots could also be the result of a keratin defect condition called keratosis pilaris (also known as "chicken skin"), but only if the marks you're seeing appear bumpy.
How to Get Rid of Strawberry Legs
While there's no quick fix that will treat strawberry legs overnight, the first step you can take is exfoliate to ensure that you're unclogging your pores from extra dirt and sebum, and getting rid of any dead skin cells. "Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate, then moisturize, moisturize, moisturize," Dr. Patel says. "When I say exfoliate, I don't mean scrubbing your leg skin off — which you could do if you can stand it and the skin doesn't get inflamed — but, rather, using lotions and cleansers with alpha hydroxy acids to help loosen the top layer of the skin and smooth the pores and decrease the debris." A few of our favorites include the Boscia Papaya and Pomegranate Enzyme Exfoliating Body Cleanser and Dermadoctor KP Duty Body Scrub Exfoliant for Keratosis Pilaris.
How to Prevent Strawberry Legs
Just like you would to treat existing red bumps, in order to prevent strawberry legs you also want to moisturize and exfoliate the area before shaving to prevent them in future.
Aside from that, you could also consider other hair removal methods like waxing, sugaring, or laser hair removal. "Waxing and sugaring pull the hair out at the follicle and this can lessen the appearance of strawberry legs," Dr. Patel says. "It also exfoliates to a small degree as some dead skin on the surface may be removed in the process." She also suggests using depilatory creams — like the Nair Exfoliate & Smooth Leg Mask — as they can dissolve the hair to help smooth the skin and make bumpy strawberry legs look less apparent.