beauty

Exactly how to deal with ‘strawberry legs’ if it's bothering you.

You know those little dots on your legs? The ones you don't know how to get rid of? They're called 'strawberry legs' - quite possibly the cutest name for a skin condition, ever. 

But what exactly... is it? And why have you been blessed with it?

Watch: Here's three steps for glowing, healthy-looking skin. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Contrary to what you might believe, 'strawberry legs' is actually a super common thing, and for most people it ain't nothing to be concerned about. Like, even Beyoncé has it - sooo... we'll just leave this here:

To find out more about 'strawberry legs' and what you can do if it's something that bothers you, we asked Dr Imaan Joshi from Skin Essentials to find out everything we need to know.

ADVERTISEMENT

First up: What are 'strawberry legs'?

According to Dr Joshi, 'strawberry legs' occur when enlarged pores or hair follicles trap dead skin, oil, and bacteria.

"Similar to clogged pores on the face (aka blackheads), 'strawberry legs' refer to clogged pores and enlarged hair follicles on the legs, usually following shaving," explains Dr Joshi.

Since shaving is something a lot of us do so regularly, you can end up irritating the surface of your skin (especially if you're doing it wrong), triggering post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This accentuates the dark spots (pores) on your legs. 

Eek!

Listen: If you have these skin conditions, it's time to put down the Vitamin C. Post continues below.

However, there are also some other conditions that can cause 'strawberry legs' to develop - so it doesn't all just come down to shaving. 

Skin conditions like folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles), dry skin, and keratosis pilaris (aka chicken skin) can all give you 'strawberry legs'.

"Causes vary, but may be due to the contrast between hair colour and skin colour eg very dark hair on pale skin, hair follicles that, like pores on the face, are enlarged and therefore more visible," said Dr Joshi. "People with a history of dry skin and eczema may also be more prone to strawberry legs."

Sounds familiar?

"Other causes may be an inherited genetic predisposition such as keratosis pilaris (KP), which involves abnormal keratin formation around the hair follicle, leading to buildup and folliculitis, or inflammation of the hair follicle."

But how do you tell the difference? Well, if you're feeling raised bumps on your legs instead of dark spots, it's probably KP.

When should you see a doctor?

As we mentioned before, 'strawberry legs' is generally nothing to worry about - they're just a bunch of hair follicles.

However, if it is something that's annoying you and you want to treat it, you can always check in with a GP or a dermatologist and they will be able to give you a diagnosis to help you decide on a solution.

"While the appearance may be distressing to some, strawberry legs are in no way harmful, or dangerous and can be remedied," confirms Dr Joshi.

ADVERTISEMENT

Image: Getty

"It is always a good idea if a skin condition bothers you enough that you want a correct diagnosis instead of relying on Google to diagnose it for you," said Dr Joshi.

So, yeah - no doctor Google, pls.

"It can be very helpful to see a doctor who has an interest in skin or a dermatologist who may be able to correctly diagnose your condition and guide you as to treatment."

"For example, 'strawberry legs' due to folliculitis is treatable, but the same condition due to keratosis pilaris, which is genetic, will only result in improvement of the condition not a cure."

So, yeah. You're better off seeing a professional to suss out what kind of 'strawberry legs' you have before searching for a treatment.

How to get rid of dots on your legs.

"As always, diagnosis will guide treatment options. Once you have your diagnosis, there are some general guidelines you should follow," said Dr Joshi.

First off, put down the exfoliating products - because while it's tempting to start scrubbing at your legs, you'll only end up doing more harm than good. Mmmkay?

ADVERTISEMENT

"Avoid over exfoliating. Too much of a good thing can actually be bad, and scrubbing at your legs will not make the pores disappear if you are predisposed to them," said Dr Joshi.

See? Told ya.

"Having said that, once the correct diagnosis is obtained, it helps to use chemical exfoliants under the supervision of your doctor, such as salicylic acid based lotions, or glycolic acid based cleansers to see if it will improve skin."

So, load up on the chemical exfoliants once you know what you're dealing with. "Moisturising is equally important, as is shaving in the direction of hair growth."

If all else fails, Dr Joshi said your doctor may prescribe retinoids and other medications in resistant cases, depending on the cause.  

"Remember, contrary to Google, not all skin conditions are curable. Some based on genetics, such as KP, can only be managed. So having realistic expectations is key, as is getting the correct diagnosis to begin with."

Do you have strawberry legs? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Getty

Like a $50 gift voucher for your thoughts? Take our quick survey
MMSurvey