Health dangers in your closet

By: Health Local Staff Jun 02, 2014
Health dangers in your closet

Some of your favourite clothing items may be causing more harm than you might think.

From the clothes we wear to workout to the ones we wear to work or the ones we wear to “paint the town red” down to the heels we stuff our feet into, have you ever stopped to wonder, “Why?” In an effort to be sexy, to turn heads, we put their bodies through tremendous changes – most of them painful. The French have a saying, “Il faut souffrir pour etre belle.” Literally translated it means, “One must suffer to be beautiful.”

As you are ponder that thought, let’s look at things in your closet that are downright dangerous for you. Some of them you may already know and some may surprise you.

Tight, Low-Rise Jeans
So dangerous are tight, low-rise jeans that when women rush to the doctor because of unexplained numbness in their thighs, buttocks and pubic area, doctors know immediately the cause. Known in the medical community as “tight jean syndrome,” those jeans that show off every single sexy curve of yours causes the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve to become bunched up and packed together. Although tight jeans in general can cause this compression, low-rise in particular exacerbate things because of the location of  the button vs. the old style, which rest more naturally on your hips. If you must wear low-rise, get them in a size bigger.

Wet Bathing Suits
They’ve happened to all women at one time or another. You try to avoid them, but when the pH gets thrown off internally – yes we can only be talking about the dreaded yeast infection! Antibiotics can be the culprit; among other things, but did you know that wearing a bathing suit that’s wet can cause one as well? Water – whether from a pool or the ocean – all contain microorganisms, and added to your own sweat can throw off your body’s pH. This is a simple one: as soon as you are finished swimming, change out of your bathing suit.

Bra That’s Too Tight
Whether because you want to call attention to your “girls” or because you weren’t fitted correctly, wearing a bra that’s too tight can be a health hazard. At minimum doing so can cause the skin underneath to chafe, which can lead to fungal infections. A bigger concern includes breathing problems if it’s really tight. For pregnant women there’s risk of something called mastitis, which is an infection (sometimes accompanied by inflammation) of the mammary glands. Simple fix: Get properly fitted for your bras.

Not all women believe in a little nip and tuck, and yet most would agree that bulge is not so sexy. The result of that extra five or ten pounds or never being able to work off the baby fat, most women have a little extra they would love to hide. Some call shapewear a miracle. Here are just a few of the problems they cause:

• Nerve damage a la tight jean syndrome
• Dreaded yeast and bladder infections
• Blood clots
• Breathing problems if shapewear puts pressure on the lungs

Suddenly that bulge doesn’t look so bad, does it?

Flip Flops
Comfortable and a staple for many during the summer months, flip flops are a must to keep the feet cool and show off pedicures. Sure they’re cute, but they may as well be called flimsy flops for all the support they offer. Among the problems the podiatrists are seeing as a result of flip flop wearing:

• Ankle twists, sprains and breaks
• Blisters and callouses
• Painful heels
• Sore and painful arches
• Plantar fasciitis

Although they are more expensive, it is better to invest in a good pair of arch supporting sandals.

High Heels
And now for the most dangerous clothing in your closet. You know those “things” you have a love/hate relationship with? Those things that cause the calves to elongate, give the appearance that your legs go on forever. Yeah, those things! If you say they don’t hurt, you’d be the absolute only woman in the world to claim this. There’s a funny thing about pain: it’s never good and it’s a signal that something is terribly wrong! Toes and the soles of your feet hurt? It could have something to do with the fact that your entire foot and all of your body weight are being balanced on the soles of your feet, which by the way are being compressed into something the size of the head of needle. Although it may look sexy to see your foot squashed into those heels, your big toe wasn’t meant to be jammed up against the other four toes. Among the obvious problems associated with wearing high heels:

• Hammer toes
• Bunions
• Ingrown toenails
• Fungal infections in the toes – in particular the big toe

Here are some issues caused by wearing stilettos, especially those over 4 inches:

• Bad posture
• Compressed nerves in the lower spine
• Slipped and/or degenerating discs in the lower back
• Disruption and deformity of the normal “S” curve in the back

This is a troubling one for all you die-hard high heel wearers, isn’t it? You’re young now and probably can’t imagine that one day your toes will look gnarly, your back will require surgery or cortisone shots because the pain is so horrific. You probably can’t fathom what it would feel like to have a bunion removed (surgically of course) or to have in grown toenail surgery. Apart from the pain and malformation that require surgery, the pain following surgery is no walk in the park.

Save yourself the pain, and ugly toes: wear sensible shoes!

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at