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Strawberry Legs: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Have you noticed tiny, dark spots on your legs which look like black dots? Often bumpy, these tiny black dots are nothing severe or a cause of concern. Termed as strawberry legs, the condition can leave your legs with a rough and uneven texture.

What Are Strawberry Legs?

It refers to visible dark spots at the site of each pore or hair follicle. The term strawberry legs come from the dotted appearance of the condition which resembles the skin and seeds of a strawberry [1] .

Source: WomenHealth

The small bumps on the skin also called comedones are hair follicles or enlarged pores which contain bacteria, oil and dead skin. And when this pore or follicle is exposed to air, it darkens, resulting in strawberry legs.

What Causes Strawberry Legs?

The condition is caused by several reasons which are mentioned below.

Clogged pores: Your skin has hundreds and thousands of pores which can get filled bacteria, dead skin, and other debris, resulting in clogging the pores. These pores turn dark after being exposed to the air because the oil and debris inside the pores tend to darken when it dries [2] .

Keratosis pilaris: A common condition, keratosis pilaris develops on the thigh and upper arms. The small bumps caused by this condition look like tiny pimples or goosebumps. It is seasonal and tends to appear during the dry winter months than summer.

Shaving: One of the major causes of strawberry legs, shaving with old or dull razors or without shaving cream can cause strawberry legs. Because the burn caused by the razor on your skin can darken the follicles and cause your skin to appear dark [3] .

Folliculitis: This condition is the result of inflamed or infected skin. Shaving, waxing and other hair removal methods can leave the hair follicle open and at an increased risk of exposure. Folliculitis also develops as a result of exposure to bacteria, yeast, or fungus.

Extremely dry skin: Dry skin can cause strawberry legs because when your skin is exceedingly dry, the chances of irritation and inflammation are high. Skin dryness can encourage the darkening of pores in your skin [4] .

What Are The Symptoms Of Strawberry Legs?

The signs of the condition include the following [5] :

  • A dotted appearance on the skin of your legs
  • Brown or black dots on the legs after shaving
  • Darkening of open pores on the legs

In some cases, it can also cause scabbing, inflammation, itching or irritation.

How Are Strawberry Legs Treated?

The treatment for the condition includes permanent hair removal. The methods used are as follows:

Electrolysis: This method uses low levels of electricity to pinpoint irritated hair follicles.

Laser therapy: This treatment takes three to seven sittings and is more efficient and effective in comparison to electrolysis.

In the case of folliculitis, the doctor will recommend prescription therapies to treat the infected hair follicles, such as oral antibiotics and antibiotic creams or gels. If it is caused by a fungus, antifungal shampoo, cream, or an oral antifungal treatment will be prescribed [6] .

What Are The Home Remedies For Strawberry Legs?

Apart from the above-mentioned treatments, depending on the severity and cause of the condition, strawberry legs can be treated at home too [6] .

  • Using an over-the-counter (OTC) product containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid
  • Exfoliating your skin on a regular basis
  • Moisturizing your skin daily
  • Using an epilator
  • Shaving using a moisturizing shave lotion or cream

FAQs About Strawberry Legs

Q. Does exfoliating get rid of strawberry legs?

Ans: Yes. Keeping your legs well-exfoliated is one of the best ways to prevent strawberry legs.

Q. Why do you get strawberry legs?

Ans: It happens more in people with dry skin and you get it when your pores get clogged with a build-up of oil and debris.

Q. How often should I exfoliate my legs?

Ans: Most health experts agree that two or three times a week of exfoliating is essential for your skin [7] .

View Article References
  1. [1] PIERINI, D. O., & PIERINI, A. M. (1979). Keratosis pilaris atrophicans faciei (ulerythema ophryogenes): a cutaneous marker in the Noonan syndrome.British Journal of Dermatology,100(4), 409-416.
  2. [2] Leung, A. K., & Robson, W. L. M. (2009). Keratosis pilaris.Encyclopedia of Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, 1119-1119.
  3. [3] Gruber, R., Sugarman, J. L., Crumrine, D., Hupe, M., Mauro, T. M., Mauldin, E. A., ... & Elias, P. M. (2015). Sebaceous gland, hair shaft, and epidermal barrier abnormalities in keratosis pilaris with and without filaggrin deficiency.The American journal of pathology,185(4), 1012-1021.
  4. [4] Gold, M. H., Baldwin, H., & Lin, T. (2018). Management of comedonal acne vulgaris with fixed‐combination topical therapy.Journal of cosmetic dermatology,17(2), 227-231.
  5. [5] Gollnick, H. P., Bettoli, V., Lambert, J., Araviiskaia, E., Binic, I., Dessinioti, C., ... & Kemény, L. (2016). A consensus‐based practical and daily guide for the treatment of acne patients.Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology,30(9), 1480-1490.
  6. [6] Pürnak, S., Durdu, M., Tekindal, M. A., Güleç, A. T., & Seçkin, D. (2018). The Prevalence of Malassezia Folliculitis in Patients with Papulopustular/Comedonal Acne, and Their Response to Antifungal Treatment.Skinmed,16(2), 99-104.
  7. [7] Al-Talib, H., Al-Khateeb, A., Hameed, A., & Murugaiah, C. (2017). Efficacy and safety of superficial chemical peeling in treatment of active acne vulgaris.Anais brasileiros de dermatologia,92(2), 212-216.
Story first published: Saturday, September 21, 2019, 13:22 [IST]
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