Recently I spoke with a dermatologist about strawberry legs. What are strawberry legs, and how to get rid of strawberry legs. Now I’d like to share those tips with you!
Strawberry legs refers to the appearance of a smattering of red dots on the lower legs around the hair follicle. And the red dot on the background of normal unaffected skin makes the affected area look like the skin of a strawberry, hence its name strawberry skin.
How to get rid of strawberry legs?
Regular skin moisturizing
One of the most useful things that you can do, is to use any moisturizer on your legs. Look for some gentle cream for delicate skin, like Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream, CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, or Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream.
And there are a few things that can be going on, and may give rise to the appearance of strawberry legs. So you can also use a moisturizer with a specific active ingredient relevant to the associated condition.
Urea and AHAs
The first skin condition is something called keratosis pilaris. This is a dry skin condition, in which dry skin builds up around the hair follicle, leading to a rough bump, and the base of the hair follicle gets a little bit of redness around it, and so you have a red spot with a little rough bump on it. This option occurs not only on the legs, but also the upper arms, and can occur on the face, it really can happen anywhere on the body, but those are the most common locations. And when it does, it gives the appearance of what’s called strawberry legs.
If you have keratosis pilaris, it’s going to be very important for keeping the skin hydrated and treating the dry skin condition. Choose a moisturizer with either urea in it, or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) in it.
Try something like Intensive Healing Cream or Hydrating Healing Lotion with urea by Exipal, Roughness Relief Spot Treatment, Roughness Relief Lotion, Intensive Repair Lotion with urea by Eucerin, as well as Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream by CeraVe. The best moisturizers with AHAs are DRMTLGY Exfoliating Body Lotion, Amlactin Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion, Eucerin Advanced Repair Lotion.
Both urea and alpha hydroxy acids are great ingredients for dry skin conditions, because they lightly soften and exfoliate the built up dry skin stuff that may be leading to bumpiness. And they also draw water into the skin, help it to be hydrated.
Acne fighting ingredients
The second cause of strawberry legs is something called folliculitis. Folliculitis refers to inflammation around the hair follicle, and often is due to you a little skin infection. Sometimes when we have areas of the skin where there’s a lot of rubbing, a lot of friction, for example, underneath some leggings, then the hair follicle can get agitated and inflamed, and some of the bacteria from our skin can triple down there, and lead to a little pus bump. So you may have a little red spot that gets almost like an acne bump, and that is called a folliculitis. That is one cause of strawberry legs as well.
If you have a folliculitis, part of what is putting you at risk for bacteria trickling into the skin, as the skin barrier is impaired, products containing acne fighting ingredients actually will be the most helpful to you. Salicylic acid body washes can cut down on the incidence of folliculitis. Look for something like CeraVe SA Body Wash, Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash, or Asepxia Medicated Acne Body Wash. Apply the salicylic acid containing body wash to the affected areas, let it sit on the skin for a little while, and then rinse it off in the shower. Afterwards make sure you follow it up with a moisturizer.
Another acne ingredient that works well in this condition and for reducing the risk of it is benzoyl peroxide. Try Panoxyl Acne Creamy Wash with benzoyl peroxide, or Harris Benzoyl Peroxide Wash 5%. Benzoyl peroxide can work to cut down on the bacteria that are causing the problem, and also to help to exfoliate the plugged-up hair follicle, and improve the appearance of strawberry legs. But, like with the salicylic acid body wash, after you use it, you have to use a moisturizer, because it dries out your skin.
Good shaving practices
The third cause is ingrown hairs or shave bumps. This happens when the hair is shaved. The hair, as it’s cut, ends up getting a little wonky and grows back with a curvature into the neighboring skin, and pierces the neighboring skin and causes this little bump. And this can happen particularly to people who may be using the same razor a little bit too frequently, shaving too quickly, not using moisturiser after shaving, or kind of shaving in the wrong direction.
If you have inflamed hair follicles related to shaving, stop shaving for a while, give your skin a break and allow the hair to grow out a little bit more. Then take a look at your shaving practices. You should definitely change your razor much more frequently, at least every other use. Don’t keep your razor blade in the shower, that can actually dull the blades, and also puts you at risk for bacterial biofilms forming on the razor.
While you shave, make sure you use some barrier product to help in reducing irritation in the surrounding skin, as you’re dragging the razor blade across. You can use a shaving cream or shaving gel, something like Vanicream Shave Cream, or Every Man Jack Shave Cream. After you’ve shaved, you absolutely have to use a moisturizer on the body, because that keeps the skin hydrated and cuts down on the chances of those little ingrown hairs forming.
So those are the things you want to keep in mind for addressing strawberry legs, what causes strawberry legs, how to get rid of strawberry legs, and how to prevent it.