Can Your Clothing Make You Sick?

Dressing for success is a goal we all have every day. Whether it is success at our job, our relationships or just our happiness, our clothes can help us to achieve those goals. However, in some cases, the wrong clothes can make you feel pain and even make you sick.

Speaking of things to put on your body, do you own a piece of clothing or an accessory that could potentially save your life? With Life Alert Protection, you can say yes! Slip on their lightweight, waterproof emergency medical alert pendant under your clothing, around your neck or wrist and immediately gain 24/7 personal protection. No matter what life threatening emergency you may face, push the button on your pendant and summon an emergency medical response fast! Don’t hesitate; add a lifesaving accessory to your closet today with Life Alert Protection!tight clothes

As for the rest of your wardrobe, Everyday Health[1] has a list below of clothing you may currently have in your closet that could be posing major threats to your health and well-being.  Read below to get all of the facts.

1. Skinny Jeans, Tight Pants and Digestive Issues  

Tight clothing that pushes into the abdomen, everything from jeans to belts and compression undergarments, can be problematic, “particularly and especially when somebody overeats,” says Jamie Koufman, MD, a reflux specialist. Pressure on the stomach, known as intragastric pressure or intra-abdominal pressure, can trigger acid reflux — pushing stomach acid back up through the lower esophageal junction, where the esophagus and the stomach meet, causing heartburn.

Acid reflux is common, and not just for older adults, according to Dr. Koufman, who says about 37 percent of the 20 to 30-year-old age group gets it. Even someone who isn’t prone to acid reflux can develop reflux if they wear a tight article of clothing often over a two-week period, she says. However, it’s not just the millianials that are prone to this, listen up all you 60 year old spanx wearers…snug-fitting corset-style [undergarments and] shirts can have a similar effect, says Koufman. “It’s not a good idea to wear something tight to a dinner, particularly if it’s late in the day as well.” And if you must wear compression undergarments under a dress or a tight belt with a new pair of pants, Koufman suggests eating smaller, less fatty meals to reduce the risk of reflux, and trying to loosen things up after you eat, if you can.

2. Compression Undergarments and Nerve Pain 

Designed to smooth out flab and bulging tummies, body-shapers like compression undergarments and control-top pantyhose have a downside. “Tight garments on the lower abdominal region and the upper thigh can cause a condition called meralgia paresthetica, irritation of the nerves in the front and outer aspects of the thigh,” says Orly Avitzur, MD, a neurologist and medical adviser to Consumer Reports. “We’ve known about this for many years and used to see it in women who wore girdles. Now we see it in other compression garments, which have become quite a common fashion accessory. So we’re seeing more and more of that in this generation of women who are trying to look sleek in their clothing.” Symptoms include burning, pain, tingling in the thigh area and hypersensitivity to the touch, according to Dr. Avitzur.

3. Tight Ties, Tight Shirts and Poor Circulation 

Men can have issues with tight-clothing, too, Avitzur says. Although she hasn’t seen it in her practice, literature suggests tight neckties can lead to circulation problems in the neck. A study published in the journal Stroke Research and Treatment, in which researchers used a necktie apparatus to mimic the effects of a tight tie on 40 healthy males, found modest changes in cerebrovascular reactivity, which relates to the dilation ability of arteries in the brain — a potential marker for stroke. The study’s authors theorize that the changes likely aren’t enough to influence stroke risk in healthy adults but could potentially affect risk in adults with other stroke risk factors.

4. Irritating Fabrics and Allergic Reactions 

Certain kinds of fabrics are more likely to cause irritation and allergic reactions, says Neeta Ogden, MD, an adult and pediatric allergist. “Interestingly wool fabrics in particular can cause allergic reactions in people, typically called contact dermatitis,” Dr. Ogden says. “It’s an itchy rash that can sometimes even have bumps on it and seems chronic.” People who have sensitive skin or a history of eczema are at a higher risk of irritation from these fabrics, Ogden says, as are people who have allergies in general.

5. Synthetic Materials, and Irritation and Infection

Clothing dye is a common cause of allergic skin rash, says Ogden, “especially blue and orange dyes in clothing and other items.” Elastics on socks, underwear and bras can also cause rashes in some people because of the rubber, she says. Particularly if you find you react adversely to these dyes, Ogden recommends washing new clothes before wearing them for the first time. Synthetic materials like nylon and Lycra can also cause problems when used in underwear. Unlike breathable cotton, these fabrics keep in moisture and heat — providing a breeding ground for yeast infections.

Clothing is a great way to express yourself, but if you don’t want to show your medical alert, Life Alert’s emergency pendant is lightweight, waterproof and can easily be concealed under your clothing. Plus, if your personal emergency involves a medical problem versus deciding if you should wear white after Labor day, Life Alert’s dispatch team is available 24/7; simply push the button on your pendant and summon help fast!

Clothes shouldn’t make you sicker; instead, they should enhance your life and make it better. Get an accessory that not only enhances your life, but gives you freedom and independence to live alone in your own home. For a free brochure on all of Life Alert’s lifesaving services call 1-800-513-2934.

Works Cited:

  1. Clayton, Jaimie Dalessio. “5 Ways Clothing Can Make You Sick.” Everyday Health. 12 November 2014. <http://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management-pictures/ways-clothing-can-make-you-sick.aspx >.

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