From Flip Flops to Skinny Jeans: Are These Fashion Staples Making You Sick?

It's fashionable and a clothing staple, but do you know which of these items could be making you sick? Dr. Melissa Lem shows us the health hazards in our wardrobes.

wet swimsuits cause yeast infections

Yeast, which naturally exists in your body, multiplies more easily in warm, humid conditions. With a wet swimsuit, you combine synthetic material, moisture from the pool and tropical heat: the perfect conditions for a yeast infection.

Solution: Have a happier vacation by changing into dry clothing or drying yourself off immediately after a dip

tight neckties bad for eyes

Wearing anything that constricts your neck puts strain on your jugular veins and carotid arteries, which can both increase blood pressure above the neck and reduce upwards blood flow.

A 2003 study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology revealed a 10-20% increase in eye pressure after a group of men wore tight neckties for three minutes. This could, over time, put you at risk for optic nerve damage, especially if you have an eye disease called glaucoma (NOTE: a later study showed pressure dropped a bit after several minutes, it still remained elevated above baseline). Another recent study from Cornell University found that men who wore too-tight shirt collars and ties had worse vision than those who wore the right size.

Solution: Avoid wearing a tight tie to eye exams, which could result in a false diagnosis of glaucoma, and if you have a diagnosis or family history of glaucoma, consider going tie-free-or at least keep it loose.

Thong underwear bladder infections

If you're prone to getting bladder infections, thong underwear could be increasing your risk. The most common way to develop a urinary tract infection is when bacteria from your colon jumps the short distance from your rear end into your urethra. 

Unfortunately, that thin strip of material on a thong sits right in your gluteal cleft and can easily shift forward, moving bacteria towards your urinary tract.

Solution: Choose full-coverage underwear.

shapewear causes indigestion

Unfortunately, shapewear puts the squeeze on your internal organs as well as those external lumps and bumps!

Extra pressure on your stomach and intestines not only worsens heartburn, but can also slow down the flow of food, leading to pain, bloating and gas. The stress on your abdomen can lead also to incontinence, especially if you have a digestive disorder like irritable bowel syndrome.

Solution: Pick shapewear that's not too tight! Avoid overindulging if you're sporting it, or ditch it altogether if your digestive system is acting up.

flip flops plantar fascitis

Wearing shoes without arch support can cause pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs from your heel to your toes and provides support to the arch.

Flip flops are among the worst culprits because they lack a back — and when your heel lifts off the ground it creates even more strain and stretch.

Plantar fasciitis is known in the podiatry world as "flip-flop disease"

Solution: Wear sandals with a back strap, thicker sole and more arch support.

skinny jeans nerve damage

Pressure from tight jeans on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, which runs from your abdomen to your upper leg, can cause a condition called meralgia paresthetica, which shows up as numbness, burning and tingling in your outer thighs. Pants-related nerve problems were first described in ‘80s truck drivers, but more lately case studies have been published about women who wear tight pants, especially low-rise styles. If you add high heels into the mix they tilt your pelvis forward, worsening the compression and tingly thighs.

Solution: Skirts, looser pants, or jeans with stretch.
Tip: Avoid anything that puts pressure around your hips can also cause this, like too-tight belts.