From skyscraper heels to skin tight jeans, many of us repeatedly choose style over comfort. However, this could be bad news for your health. Here are the top 10 items of clothing which can put your health at risk.
Fashion health hazard 1: Skinny jeans
Skinny jeans may be fashionable, but wearing skin-tight denim and other close-fitting trousers can have health repercussions for both women and men. For men, wearing tight trousers can cause overheating of the testes, lowering sperm count and causing fertility problems. For women, wearing skinny jeans can increase your chances of developing thrush. Furthermore, squeezing into skin-tight trousers can cause nerve compression, leading to tingling or numb thighs.
Fashion health hazard 2: High heels
Once reserved for special occasions, women are now increasingly opting to wear heels on a daily basis, which could lead to a whole host of health problems. Regularly wearing high heels can cause poor posture, put pressure on your joints, and lead to a range of conditions including arthritis, hammer toes, back pain and tendon injuries – and that’s before you take into account any heel-related accidents! Minimise damage by limiting your heels to 1.5 inches for daily wear and wearing insoles to help reduce the pressure on joints. Swapping to wedges will also give you more support.
Fashion health hazard 3: Flip-flops
While they may look more comfortable – and less dangerous – than high heels, flip-flops can also generate their fair share of health problems. In fact, in Britain the NHS reportedly spends £40 million a year treating injuries caused by wearing flip-flops. As wearing flip-flops offers no arch support or heel cushioning and forces you to adapt how you walk, the casual footwear can lead to joint pain, shin splints and orthopaedic problems. As with heels, flip-flops have their place, but they are better reserved for the beach and replaced with more supportive shoes for everyday wear.
Fashion health hazard 4: Sexy underwear
Ladies, we all like to look our best in our underwear, but donning synthetic fabrics and thongs could leave you feeling far from sexy. Not only can rough materials cause chafing and infections to delicate skin, but wearing synthetic materials can encourage yeast organisms to multiply, increasing risk of thrush. Furthermore, wearing thongs can easily contribute to the spread of bacteria, leading to urinary tract infections. To help prevent any nasty itches, swap skimpy, synthetic underwear for pretty cotton briefs for daily wear.
Fashion health hazard 5: Y-fronts
Guys, you may not have lacy underwear or thongs to contend with, but your underwear could still be causing you problems. Just as with tight trousers, wearing tight-fitting Y-fronts can cause overheating and lead to reduced sperm production and fertility for up to 11 weeks. While these effects are temporary, if you are trying for a baby it is important to keep things cool by swapping tight briefs for boxer shorts at all times.
Fashion health hazard 6: Piercings
According to survey results published in the British Medical Journal, 25 per cent of body piercings lead to complications including swelling, bleeding and infection. Furthermore, even if you avoid infection, jewellery can lead to rashes and itching for those with nickel allergies, while dangly earrings can damage the ear tissue as it is stretched and pulled down by their weight. To accessorize your look without putting your health at risk, always go to a reputable piercer for new piercings, opt for hypoallergenic jewellery where possible and reserve heavy earrings for special occasions.
Fashion health hazard 7: Slimming underwear
Slimming underwear (or control pants) are a big seller, endorsed by many a celeb and loved by ladies everywhere. However, while they may pull in all your lumps and bumps and help you look streamlined and leaner in your favourite dress, Bridget Jones style tummy-control underwear could also affect your health. Similar to a corset, control underwear puts increased pressure on the stomach, often leading to heartburn, breathing problems and digestive problems. Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome can also be worsened by such restrictive underwear.
Fashion health hazard 8: Handbags
With the rising number of gadgets and accessories many women haul around, you could be carrying around several pounds of weight on your shoulders every day. While you may not feel the effects of this right now, lugging around a heavy handbag can eventually lead to serious back problems and neck pain as well as poor posture. Don’t wait until the damage is done – do your health a favour and try clearing out all non-essential items and switching to a smaller bag.
Fashion health hazard 9: Tight shirt collars and ties
If you often suffer from headaches, tingly ears or blurred vision at work, it may be that your shirt and tie are to blame. Wearing tight shirt collars and ties can reduce blood flow to the brain and increase intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye), causing these symptoms. The restrictive items of clothing can also limit neck movement and lead to muscle tension in the back and shoulders. To reduce these symptoms, make sure you buy shirts with the correct collar size and loosen your tie. Also, wash your ties regularly to avoid bacterial infection.
Fashion health hazard 10: Bras
While we are not suggesting you need to ditch your bra entirely, it’s important to make sure that, if you are wearing one, you are wearing one that fits. It is thought that more than 70 per cent of women are wearing the wrong bra size, and this can lead to a range of health problems including back, neck and breast pain, breathing difficulties, poor posture, skin irritation, circulation problems and even irritable bowel syndrome. Breast size can change over time so, rather than guessing your size, make sure you get measured to ensure you are getting the support you need.
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