Health hazards in everyday clothing

While proper hygiene can keep us safe, there are some serious health risks hiding in our closets

Crative: Eesha Azam July 15, 2015

Did you know that some of the everyday clothing items you’ve been wearing could secretly be ruining your health?

When we are getting dressed every morning, the main thing we keep in mind is the weather. Other than that, pretty much anything goes so long as it suits us and we are looking and feeling good. But none of us ever give our outfits much thought from a health perspective. While proper hygiene and common sense can keep us safe, there are some serious health risks hiding in our closets, making our body vulnerable every time we wear them. Read on to find out about some common items of clothing which can be surprisingly detrimental to the human body.

1. Super-skinny jeans: We might love how good our legs look in these figure-hugging pants but there is a high chance they may be compressing the nerves in the groin and leg region, restricting blood flow. This can lead to muscle damage, swelling and even numbness. These symptoms might sound a bit extreme but when we wear clothing that’s too tight, the fabric rubs against skin and disrupts the natural skin barrier that protects us from infections. Also, skin tight clothing produces more sweat, creating the ideal breeding ground for viral, fungal and bacterial infections. Therefore, if skinny jeans are your go-to fashion fix then opt for ones that have a little stretch in the material and wash them after every couple wears. In fact, it is best to avoid wearing them for long periods of time.

2. Last night’s pajamas: No matter how confortable they might be, it’s important to change your pajamas as regularly as underwear — particularly if you sleep without the latter.

3. Jeans or any pants with rivet-button clasps: For those who don’t know, a rivet-button is the round, metallic piece of hardware that secures our jeans at the waist. Since this button comprises of nickel, a common skin irritant, it often triggers rashes just below the belly. A great solution is to just apply clear nail polish on to the rivet to provide a barrier between the metal and skin.

4. High heels: According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, wearing high heels just a few times a week, over a long period of time can lead to imbalances in the ankle muscles and set one up for injury. Fortunately for heel-lovers, however, the research also points out that heel lifts and drops can help curtail the damage, in case flat shoes aren’t an option.

5. Flip-flops: Experts claim that flip-flops expose the feet to all kinds of external impurities like dirt, bacteria, fungi and viruses that cause infection. On top of this, sandals can disfigure toes and affect our postures adversely. Flat shoes are also the leading cause of heel and back pains so save them for the shower and rely on more supportive footwear for everywhere else.


Did You Know?

The wrong type, size and colour of lingerie are perhaps the most detrimental of all clothing items. For instance, the fabric dyes in coloured underwear have been shown to irritate the delicate skin in the nether regions, often leading to infections and general discomfort. Coloured undergarments made of synthetic materials are the most harmful so the best option is to stick to plain, cotton whites. In addition to this, the wire found in most underwired bras is, once again, comprised of nickel. To protect yourself, remove the wire from your bras, coat it with nail enamel and place it back in.

Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, July 12th, 2015.


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