5 Fashion Choices That Are Bad for Your Health

3 minute read

Fashion can be fun, but it can also take a toll. New research published Monday revealed that it’s possible for skinny jeans to cause nerve damage. Curious what other fashion dangers you’re wardrobe is causing?

Skinny jeans
As TIME reported Monday, a case report published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry chronicles the woeful tale of a 35-year-old woman whose legs went numb while she was wearing skinny jeans. “Her legs and ankles had become so swollen that emergency room staff had to cut her jeans off. Her ankles and toes were weak, but the rest of her legs, including her knees and hips, were working normally,” Alice Park wrote. The perils of tight pants have been noted by health experts as far back as 1993, as the Wall Street Journal reports, internist Dr. Octavio Bessa coined the term “tight-pants syndromein a medical journal after reporting several men coming in with symptoms like abdominal discomfort. When Bessa compared the size of the pants to the abdominal girth, he found there was often a discrepancy. Men needed to loosen up. Tight pants are currently a trend among both men and women, and perhaps it’s not worth the fashion points.

High heels
Foot doctors say the higher the heel on the shoe the more weight is pushed forward onto the balls of the feet, which can cause pain. A 2014 review concluded that high heeled shoes alter that natural position of the foot and ankle and can cause a “chain reaction” of issues that can eventually bother the spine. As the New York Times recently pointed out, other research suggests wearing high heels less often could prevent ankle injury among women.

The Kardashian clan are “obsessed” with using corsets to “train” their waists. (Basically using a corset to squeeze your weight into submission). There’s essentially no evidence the process works, but efficacy aside, wearing corsets can be painful, make it hard to breathe, and could possibly result in rib damage according to some experts.

Neck ties
A small amount of evidence suggests wearing a neck tie that’s too tight could elevate intracranial pressure (though the study found that the raised levels were still within normal range), and possibly increase blood pressure in the eyes to unsafe levels. A couple studies by no means make neck ties a risk factor for serious health problems, but those who choose to don them may want to give themselves some breathing room.

From Eleanor to Michelle: See The Inside Scoop on First Lady Fashion

07/06/1998 - D:BOB2Madison5.tif - slug: WK/MONTPELIER. date: 7/6/98. photographer: Robert A. Reede
Left: A portrait of Dolly Madison, circa 1800; right: Dolly Madison's famous red dress on display at the home on James Madison in Montpelier, Va. Getty Images (2)
First Lady Fashion Mrs., Abraham Lincoln
Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, in 1863. Getty Images
Harriet Lane
Portrait of Harriet Lane, circa 1860s. Harriet Lane was the first "acting First Lady" to her uncle, life-long bachelor, President James Buchanan. Getty Images
First Lady Fashion Grace Coolidge
Mrs. Grace Coolidge, the First Lady to Calvin Coolidge, in 1925. Getty Images
Eleanor Roosevelt wears Arnold Constable gown she will wear
Eleanor Roosevelt wears the Arnold Constable gown she will wear to the White House diplomatic corps reception, Nov. 10, 1939. NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images
First Lady Fashion Mrs. Richard M. Nixon;Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower (L) sharing her fur with Mrs. Patricia Nixon on a chilly night in 1952. Ed Clark—The TIME & LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
First Lady Fashion Jacqueline Kennedy
First Lady Jackie Kennedy wearing a fitted silk apricot dress and triple strand of pearls, walking through crowds during a visit to Udaipur, India on March 1, 1962. Art Rickerby—The TIME & LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Lady Bird Johnson
Lady Bird JohnsonBettmann/Corbis
First Lady Fashion Pat Nixon
Mrs. Patricia Nixon at home reading the newspaper in Washington, 1960.Ed Clark—The TIME & LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Nancy Reagan, decked out in red lace dress & gold
Nancy Reagan, decked out in red lace dress, gold earrings and necklace set, at "President's dinner" in Washington on May 11, 1988.Diana Walker—TTime & Life Pictures/Getty Images
First Lady Fashion Hillary Clinton
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in the White House Rose Garden during a meeting with the League of Women Voters in Washington on June 7, 1993. Cynthia Johnson—The TIME & LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
First Lady Michelle Obama waves to supporters on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. on Sept. 4, 2012 Stan Honda—AFP/Getty Images

Body piercings
A 2012 Northwestern University study reported that bacterial infections affect about 20% of body piercings. Other issues that can arise, the authors report, include things like medical procedure interference and allergies. Using proper utensils when undergoing a piercing and knowing how to keep piercings clean can prevent problems.

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