Skinny jeans and other hidden health risks in your wardrobe

By Felicity Morse
Newsbeat social media producer

image copyrightDimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Skinny jeans have been given a health warning after a 35-year-old woman had to be cut out of a pair because her calves "ballooned in size".

Doctors believe the woman developed a condition called compartment syndrome, made worse by her tight jeans.

She previously spent hours squatting to empty cupboards for a house move in Australia according to the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

It's rare to develop this condition from skinny jeans.

Twelve cases were talked about in the journal.

image copyrightAFP
image captionCorsets were also linked to health problems

But rummage through your wardrobe and there are other dangerous accessories waiting to cripple, strangle or squeeze you if you wear them incorrectly.

You've probably learned about women in the 18th and 19th centuries who wore corsets, often laced so tightly they caused people to pass out or even bruised internal organs.

However, plenty of modern styles can impact our health too.


image copyrightPA

High heels have been associated with corns and calluses which the NHS describes as "areas of hard thickened skin" and can be very painful.

Heels can also cause bunions, where the big toe points inward towards the other toes.

Although it is thought the condition runs in families, bunions can be made worse by shoes that don't fit properly. The pain can be so bad that you may need surgery.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThis is what a bunion looks like, now you know

Wearing heels can also make some back conditions worse as they increase pressure on the spine.

The College of Podiatry has warned employers, such as airlines and some shops, not to insist female staff wear heels because they can cause so many problems.

Wearing heels for longer than six months can cause the calf muscle to shorten and tighten permanently, which forces the knees and back to compensate.

Women who wear heels or badly-fitting trainers could also be putting themselves at risk of arthritis.

According to a study from the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, women aged 20 to 29 are most at risk of high-heel related injuries.

Zip flies

image copyrightGetty Images

Stop concentrating for one second while zipping your fly and you can find yourself in a very painful situation.

A study of zip injuries over eight years showed that among adult men, zips were the most frequent cause of penis injuries.

Between 2002 and 2010, more than 17,500 patients had to go to accident and emergency departments with the problem in the US.

Tight shirt collars and neckties

One small study suggested that men who wear ties too tightly could be at a greater risk of Glaucoma.

It's thought this is because they are restricting blood flow to the brain. Tight ties can also restrict movement, causing tension in the muscles of the back according to a study of workers in a South Korean Journal.

Earrings and flesh tunnels

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionAn extreme example of ear-stretching or 'flesh tunnels'

Aside from the danger of wearing earrings while playing sport (they can catch and cause your earlobes to tear) wearing heavy earrings can cause ear lobes to sag over time.

There has been a rise reported in ear lobe surgery with people wanting doctors to correct their "flesh tunnels".

There is a point of no return when lobes have become so stretched that reconstructive surgery is necessary.


image copyrightGetty Images

G-string underwear can damage the skin and cause infections.

If you wear pants that are too tight or that are badly-stitched the friction can cause genital irritation and lead to infections.

Tight pants

For women, overly tight pants or jeans can lead to fungal infections like Thrush.

Experts have also warned against wearing control underwear in a size too small saying they can cause acid reflux and heartburn, as well as making you need the toilet more.

image copyrightMarco Prosch/Getty
image captionSpanx: modern day corsets?

One neurologist wrote a blog about a 15-year-old football player who was referred to her "because of numbness, tingling, and discomfort in her left thigh that had bothered her for a few weeks" because of this type of underwear.

The girls in the team had been wearing them under their loose soccer shorts while they played.

For men, there's been some suggestion that tight underwear or jeans can affect sperm count because testicles get too hot to allow the sperm to mature.

Doctors treating male fertility problems are told to consider how much people drink, smoke and take drugs as well as if they wear tight pants.

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