You’re in the shower, you’re shaving your legs to be just perfectly smooth for your night out in a new dress – and they come out looking like you’ve got a black rash all over them.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and it’s something that’s manageable if you do the right things. You’re not doomed to having ‘strawberry legs’ as some call them – you can prevent them, and you can do it naturally.
What are Shaving Dots?
First things first – what even are these black dots? Well, there are a lot of misconceptions about the matter, and people often try to pin it down to just one condition, but the truth is more complex.
What you would call ‘strawberry legs,’ or ‘shaving dots’ can refer to many different conditions which have roughly the same appearance – black dots on the skin that make it look like the surface of a strawberry.
One of the most common conditions that present this way are open comedones – plugged up pores and hair follicles. The dirt and skin oil in these comedones gets mixed with melanin and darkens when it comes in contact with the air, causing the black appearance.
In other cases, black spots may be the result of ingrown hairs or inflammation of the hair follicles, known as folliculitis.
There’s more, but I’ll go a bit more in-depth on what causes these conditions in the next section, and after that, I’ll tell you what you can do to fix it.
Why do Shaving Dots Appear?
Black dots on your skin seem like they appear only after shaving, but that’s usually a misconception. They can be there all the time – they’re just more noticeable after a shave, it doesn’t mean that shaving caused them.
I’ll go through a few different reasons why they might appear and tell you what the risk factors are.
While shaving is not always the source of the problem, it is often the trigger for a lot of other problems, or just makes them that much worse. That is if you’re not shaving properly.
For example, pulling on hairs when shaving with a blunt razor can lead to ingrown hairs which later appear as dark spots. If you have sensitive skin and don’t treat it properly before and after shaving, razor burn could lead to inflammation and dark spots on the skin.
This condition is the inflammation of hair follicles which can result from many different things, including shaving. However, it can also result from waxing, depilation, bad hygiene, sharing towels or clothes with someone who’s infected and so on.
Folliculitis can be relatively harmless, or it can develop into a bad infection that could cause permanent scars. It can appear as red bumps, blisters or scabs but it can also appear as dark spots on the skin.
Ingrown hairs usually appear as dark spots on the skin, and they can be a result of a few different things. However, the most common reason is shaving with a dull razor, which can cause the root of the hairs to snap back and become ingrown.
A razor that’s too sharp, aggressive and has too many blades can also lead to ingrown hairs, however. These razors lift the hairs and cut them below the skin-line, which sounds good until you realize that they might become trapped under the skin while growing back.
Ingrown hairs can lead to all sorts of different problems, including folliculitis as well.
Finding the right razor for your skin type can help you avoid this nastiness and keep your skin pristine.
These are, essentially, clogged hair follicles filled with dirt, skin oil, bacteria, dead skin, and god knows what else. They look like black dots on the outside, and they’re essentially the same thing as pimples, just open to the outside air, which makes them look black.
They can be popped just like regular pimples, but it’s not something I’d recommend – that can lead to further skin irritation and just make the condition worse.
Properly treating your skin before and after shaving can help unclog these pores and help you get rid of them, but I’ll talk a bit more about that later on.
This is a relatively common condition for people with dry skin. It looks like ‘strawberry legs’ but it can also present as small, hard, itchy bumps or pimples.
In actuality, these are accumulated deposits of keratin along with dead skin cells that are plugging up your hair follicles. They’re most commonly found on your thighs, armpits, buttocks and similar areas, where constant rubbing is common.
This condition can appear more often during the dry, winter months and you can usually deal with it by moisturizing your skin more often, before and after shaving.
However, they can also appear during the summer, if you’re often in swimming pools since the chemicals in them dry out your skin. Moisturize well after swimming to avoid this.
How to Get Rid of Them?
Now that you know why you might have strawberry legs, the question remains – how to stop it? How do you get your beautiful, smooth legs back?
Well, there are a few things you can try, and at least one is bound to be effective. There are some things you can do on your own and some that might require the help of a medical professional. Take a look at all the options.
Switch Your Shaving Razor More Often
You should replace your razor after a few shaves instead of using it for dozens and dozens of shaves. It gets worn down easily which means you need to press harder into the skin to shave properly, leading to irritation and hair snapback.
Using a Different Type of Razor
It’s possible that your razor is not right for your skin type or hair type and it’s causing irritation or cutting the hairs too close to your skin. If you have soft hairs, you don’t need to use a multi-bladed razor, for example.
By this, I don’t mean just letting your hair grow wild, although that’s also an option. There are alternatives to shaving that might not lead to as many problems.
Waxing is one option, though it can cause some problems of its own. Using an epilator is also a good idea since it pulls hairs straight from the root. Depilatory creams are also not a bad option, and they don’t cost a lot. Laser hair removal is also there if you want to go for that option and it’s more permanent but expensive.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!
Buy a moisturizer and use it often, not just before and after shaving. Using it every day, after every shower and it will help with most skin problems that can cause strawberry legs.
You can also try soaking in hot water for around 10 minutes before shaving your legs, to open and clean the pores, and splashing it with cold water directly after shaving to close them and prevent the dirt from getting in.
By exfoliating your skin on a regular basis, you’ll remove dead skin cells and help prevent your follicles and pores from getting clogged. This can also help prevent ingrown hairs from appearing since there won’t be anything blocking them from growing through the otherwise clogged follicles.
Seek Professional Help
If the condition is persistent, you’re best off asking for professional help. Your doctor might be able to give you medicine that could help with your condition.
If you have folliculitis, for example, antibiotics might help curb it if bacteria are the problem. On the other hand, if you have a fungal infection, you might be prescribed an antifungal cream or pill.
You could also seek help from beauty professionals. Certain treatments can help moisturize your skin more permanently, thus leading to your ‘strawberry legs’ recurring less often. Massages and saunas are a good option for this.
Electrolysis treatment, for example, can efficiently deal with ingrown hairs and prevent them from recurring.
The Final Word on Shaving Dots
Strawberry legs are definitely not a life sentence, and there are ways to treat them.
For some people, the treatment might be quick and easy, but for some, it can be a long process. Those with darker skin, thicker and harder body hair or sensitive skin can have a particularly rough time of it.
However, as long as you stay persistent, you’ll get rid of them for sure. The black dots might come back from time to time but having good habits goes a long way towards preventing that.
Just keep at it, practice good habits while shaving, seek professional help if you need to and those black dots are as good as gone!
Source: Be Clean Shop