How to prevent strawberry legs and dark spots after shaving


Of the various hair removal methods available, shaving is perhaps the only one that has gained a wider reputation for being quick, easy, and painless – well, if you do it right. Still, that’s not to say that it doesn’t come with its own set of drawbacks. For starters, even the smoothest, most thatch-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 are when the skin on the legs has dark spots 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 in the skin and the hair follicles appear slightly recessed or raised like the surface of a strawberry.”

Strawberry legs, while 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 appearing, Dr. Patel is sharing a bit more information on what you can do to help.

Why do people have strawberry legs?

Your hair follicles can start to look like dark spots for a number of reasons, most of which are related to the pigmentation that occurs right after the follicle becomes inflamed or irritated in any way.

“We are mammals and we are covered with hair follicles and pores,” said Dr Patel. “This could be due to not exfoliating, as the pores are clogged with oil and debris, a sloppy shaving technique with a dull razor, as the hair can be cut at an angle and as it grows back, they can look like a black dot in the follicle, or unhydrated skin that becomes irritated, causing the follicles to increase in appearance. “

Dark spots can also be the result of a keratin blemish called keratosis pilaris (also known as “chicken skin”), but only if the marks you see appear bumpy.

How to prevent strawberry legs

The first thing you can do is exfoliate to make sure you unclog excess dirt and oil from your pores, and get rid of all the dead skin cells. “Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate, then hydrate, hydrate, hydrate,” Dr. Patel said. “When I say exfoliate, I don’t mean rubbing the skin on your legs – which you could do if you can take it and the skin does not inflame, but instead use lotions and cleansers that contain alpha hydroxy acids to help loosen the top layer of skin, smooth pores and reduce debris . favorites include Papaya Pomegranate Exfoliating Body Wash ($ 35) and Dermadoctor KP Duty Keratosis Pilaris Body Scrub ($ 32).

Apart from this, you can also consider other hair removal methods like waxing, sugaring or laser hair removal. “Waxing and sugaring pulls the hair out at the follicle level, which can make the appearance of strawberry legs less likely,” Dr. Patel said. “It also exfoliates to a small extent as some of the dead skin on the surface may be removed in the process.” She also suggests using hair removal creams – like the Nair Exfoliate & Smooth Leg Mask ($ 9) – as these can dissolve hair to help smooth skin and make bumpy strawberry legs less noticeable.

Image source: Getty / Klaus Vedfelt


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