It’s lastly naked limb season! In the event you prefer to be fuzz-free, it’s time to interrupt out the waxing kit, or simply whip out your razor and mow a swath by way of the overgrown garden that covers your legs.
However wait—why is your pores and skin lined in little crimson or darkish dots which will really feel tough whenever you run your fingers over them? Seems such as you’ve received a case of “strawberry legs.”
What are strawberry legs?
“’Strawberry legs‘ is a time period used to explain the looks of accentuation of the hair follicles on the legs that may resemble the dots on the surface of a strawberry,” says Naissan O. Wesley, M.D., FACMS, a dermatologist in Beverly Hills. The follicles could look irritated, or they could additionally really feel bumpy.
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What causes strawberry legs?
- Keratosis pilaris: “Keratosis pilaris is the place keratin (a protein which usually sheds from the pores and skin each day), will get trapped and plugs a hair follicle,” says Dr. Wesley, inflicting little bumps which will get infected. This will occur wherever that hair sprouts (it’s widespread on the backs of the arms, the butt, the again, and sometimes even the face), however is extra noticeable in your legs, she says, as a result of the pores and skin there can get dry, and that’s the place we extra steadily annoy the follicles by eradicating hair. KP runs in households, and individuals who have it are likely to even have delicate, eczema-prone pores and skin.
- Folliculitis: Folliculitis can even trigger strawberry legs, says Rachel Nazarian, M.D., a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York Metropolis. That’s when some type of micro organism or fungus will get into your follicle (on this case in your legs), inflicting somewhat crimson bump, or possibly a whitehead round the place the hair pops up. Friction (like the place your garments rub towards your pores and skin) or harsh chemical compounds can typically additionally trigger folliculitis. “Each circumstances are quite common, and never harmful, however might be often itchy or painful,” says Dr. Nazarian.
- Ingrown hairs: In the event you’ve ever had these—they’re widespread on the bikini space and legs, particularly after waxing or shaving— they’ll typically be painful. “Ingrown hairs are widespread, particularly the place there’s coarse curly hair, and may additionally trigger hair follicle bumps,” Dr. Wesley provides.
Methods to deal with strawberry legs:
There are some things you may to clear up strawberry legs, a few of which will depend on what’s inflicting them.
If it’s KP, let’s begin with what you don’t do: “The most typical mistake I see my sufferers making is attempting to ‘scrub’ the bumps off, or utilizing a tough loofah to exfoliate the bumps away,” says Dr. Nazarian. “Though this system will work quickly by dislodging the keratin plugs, tough exfoliation will inflame the pores and skin and hair extra, in the end inflicting rising redness and making the situation much more noticeable.”
As an alternative, you need to wash with a mild cleanser after which use a cream or a lotion containing salicylic acid, which can dissolve the keratin plugs with out irritating your pores and skin, says Dr. Nazarian, who likes Dove Beauty Bar and Cerave SA Lotion. You must stick with it, nonetheless, as a result of your pores and skin frequently sheds keratin. “When you discontinue therapy the bumps will reappear,” she says, however factors out that the KP tends to get higher as you become older.
As for folliculitis, shaving smarter can maintain you from irritating the hair follicles, says Dr. Wesley. “For folliculitis, altering razors usually and never utilizing a boring razor is essential,” she says. “I additionally discover that shaving each day or each different day helps.” Why? Extra frequent shaving helps to exfoliate, stopping lifeless pores and skin and what not from clogging follicles and pores. Additionally, “Once we wait longer between shaving periods, the hairs are sometimes longer and coarser, thus the pores and skin tends to be extra irritated after shaving,” she says. That’s as a result of when your hair is longer and thicker, you will have to tug the razor over your pores and skin time and again, which may irritate it.
With each KP and folliculitis, protecting pores and skin moist is essential (Dr. Wesley likes Arbonne’s Coconut Body Butter or lotion). And for those who’re delicate to sodium lauryl sulfate, a lathering agent which can irritate some folks’s pores and skin, strive shaving with a product that doesn’t include SLS, however nonetheless lathers up, similar to Arbonne’s concentrated shower gel.
Lastly, you’ll need to ensure that your follicles can breathe and aren’t irritated by friction, which may make each ingrown hairs and folliculitis worse. Any type of hair removing can result in ingrowns and folliculitis, particularly you probably have curly or thick hair, says Dr. Wesley, so in case your strawberry legs actually trouble you, you could need to take into account a extra everlasting type of hair removing, similar to laser treatments. “With laser, it normally takes no less than 6-Eight therapies for long run hair discount, so with subsequent therapies because the hairs turn into finer and lessened, folliculitis tends to happen much less steadily,” she says.
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