Do you get small raised bumps over your skin? They are somewhere between pimples or red spots, but look equally bad and can make you conscious about your skin.
If left untreated, the skin becomes dotted red or darker than your complexion and also feels rough or dry to the touch.
If the above sounds like you, you may have a skin condition called keratosis Pilaris. It is commonly known as strawberry legs, chicken skin, or goose flesh.
Keratosis Pilaris is a chronic skin condition but it’s very common – almost 40% of people have it at some point in their lives. It can occur on the skin of your butt, thighs, arms, or legs.
What Causes Strawberry Legs?
Strawberry legs, or Keratosis Pilaris, is caused by a build-up of dead and dying skin cells around the hair follicles. This build-up can also be an ingrown hair, excess sebum, or dirt.
When the build-up happens in excess, it forms a bump and begins to show on the skin. The most common areas of the skin that are susceptible to Keratosis Pilaris are the backs of your arms and legs, butt, and your thighs.
This skin condition is extremely common and nothing to be worried about. It happens more among darker-skinned people because the keratin in their skin is more tightly packed and loses moisture very fast, contributing to the accumulation of dead skin cells.
People with naturally dry skin and those who live in colder climates are especially vulnerable to this condition. Winter months usually make the condition much worse compared to summer months.
Is Keratosis Pilaris Harmful?
As bad as it looks, Keratosis Pilaris isn’t actually a harmful skin condition. It is, however, a chronic condition, which means that once you have it you will find it returning again and again. There is no permanent cure for it yet.
Don’t lose hope yet! With constant treatments, even if your Keratosis Pilaris doesn’t go away permanently, it can still be managed. You can still have the flawless skin you’ve always wanted.
Salons offer professional treatments like laser therapy and electrolysis to treat strawberry legs. If you don’t feel like spending a lot of money right off the bat, try the following tips.
How to Treat Strawberry Legs
One of the best ways to rid your skin of dead skin cells and keep them from accumulating is by making sure you keep scrubbing them off. Exfoliation is the process of scrubbing down the dead skin cells over your skin. There are several types of exfoliation process you can try:
Physical exfoliation refers to using external tools to manually scrub your skin. Invest in exfoliating gloves, textured brushes, or washcloths to manually exfoliate the parts of your body that have keratosis pilaris.
Physical exfoliation is usually only recommended once or twice a week, but if you have strawberry legs, you will have to exfoliate almost every day or every alternate day. Take care not to over-exfoliate and leave your skin feeling red and raw.
Body scrubs can be rough on the skin, but if you find one that is gently exfoliating, your skin will thank you. MCaffeine’s Naked & Raw Coffee Body Scrub, Plum’s Wild Cherries & Kiwi Body Scrub, and Dove’s Exfoliating Crushed Macadamia and Rice Milk Body Scrub are good options.
You can also try homemade scrubs made out of baking soda, sea salt, or coffee grounds mixed with coconut oil.
Body Wash with AHAs
Body washes that contain chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid or lactic acid help exfoliate the skin chemically, on the cellular level. This method penetrates deeper than physical exfoliation and keeps your Keratosis Pilaris from returning for a longer period of time. Dove, Kaya, and Olay have good exfoliating body washes.
2. Body Hair Removal
Since strawberry legs is caused by a build-up around the hair follicle, how you remove your body hair has a role to play in the condition. Keep in mind the following hair removal tips to ensure you don’t fall prey to another bout of strawberry legs:
If you shave with a razor, make sure that your skin is slightly damp and conditioned with a lotion or a shaving gel before you start. Use a brand new, sharp razor every time, and shave in the direction that your hair is growing, not opposite.
If you are a waxing kind of girl, you will find that your keratosis pilaris can get particularly bad after a waxing session. It can kill the buzz of having silky smooth legs. Try to keep waxing to a minimum.
Ingrown hair is also more susceptible to blocking the follicles, further exacerbating the condition. To manage this, you must exfoliate physically, chemically, or using a scrub as often as you can.
This is one of the most important steps to treating strawberry legs, and also one that most people skip. We are used to taking extra care of the skin on our face and forgetting about the rest of our body. This could be the reason you keep getting keratosis pilaris.
So, the next time you step out of the shower, lotion up your whole body. If you can get a body lotion that contains lactic or glycolic acids, even better – you will kill two birds with one stone and manage exfoliation and moisturization in a single step!
You can try the usual brands like Vaseline, Parachute, Himalaya, and Nivea for affordable moisturizing options for the body. If you have extremely dry skin, or you simply want an alternative to lotions, you can also try body oils. Rosehip oil is a good option.
Make sure to apply your moisturizer or oil to damp skin for maximum absorption and longer-lasting hydration. This will also seal the moisture in and prevent dry skin, which makes the condition worse.
Keratosis Pilaris is an unsightly skin condition, but it can be managed quite well with just a few additions to your daily routine. Invest in different kinds of exfoliating options to ensure that you target this unpleasant condition and keep it from coming back.
Remember: Keratosis Pilaris is a chronic condition, so are going to have to repeat the above-mentioned steps as often as possible to keep it at bay.
Author’s bio: Nidhi Khurana is a happy-go-lucky girl who loves to write. Started as a pastime, writing became her passion and now she dabbles between lifestyle and travel writing. She is a blogger at 365 Gorgeous, a blog dedicated to keeping you gorgeous, always. It is a one-stop solution for all your beauty, skincare, and hair care needs.