I love leggings. I’ll admit it. In fact, I’m currently wearing one of my favorite pairs. But like most things, leggings are best enjoyed in moderation. While they aren’t “ruining” your health, they could be putting you at risk of several different conditions that you definitely need to know about, but it’s not all bad news.
Itchy red bumps
Have you ever worn leggings for a few days in a row and then noticed itchy red bumps on your legs — or worse, around your bikini area? Chances are, you’ve got folliculitis, which is inflammation of the hair follicles. Bacterial or fungal infections usually cause folliculitis, and wearing tight leggings encourage the growth of fungi and bacteria that can cause folliculitis.
If you find itchy red bumps on your legs, gently exfoliate your skin in the shower and use coconut oil to moisturize your legs afterward. The coconut oil will help fight any bacteria in the bumps. Be sure to give your legs a break from leggings for a couple of days, and consider sleeping naked, or at least without pants, for a bit.
One of the best things about most leggings is their ability to wick moisture away from the body. But that also means that your skin can dry out easily. When it gets too dry, the skin can become red and tender, and you might even experience a rash. Be sure to moisturize daily and avoid wearing leggings every day of the week to ditch annoying dryness.
The common thoughts around leggings and yeast infections are shifting these days, thankfully! According to Dr. Marsha K. Guess, assistant professor at Yale University’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Services, modern moisture-wicking or breathable leggings don’t cause yeast infections. “Wearing tight clothes cannot change your vaginal microenvironment… that’s just not physiologically possible,” she told the New York Post. “Yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis are due to your normal, healthy bacteria not keeping yeast and other bacteria under control.”
While the moisture that can build up “down there” can cause unpleasant body odor, it’s unlikely that your leggings will cause a vaginal infection. That said, if you’re prone to infections, any extra moisture and warmth around your labia can trigger irritation, so change out of sweaty leggings as soon as possible. If you’ve been sitting around the house all day, though, and not working up a sweat, you’re probably safe.
Just the thought of ringworm is enough to make you squirm, isn’t it? Contrary to its name, ringworm does not involve actual worms, but a fungal infection. At this point, it’s probably not a surprise to you that excessive sweating in tight exercise attire can cause ringworm.
It typically starts as a red, scaly rash and it gets worse as you continue wearing your tight leggings. If you find spots like this on your legs, try applying a cotton ball soaked with apple cider vinegar to the spots three times a day for a few days. Apple cider vinegar’s antifungal properties can help clear things up soon.
Blue jeans and other pants might not be the most comfortable clothing options in the world, but one thing’s for certain: you immediately know when your pants are too tight around the middle. We all have our ups and downs. Women, especially, can fluctuate throughout the month so much that our most comfortable pants are unbearable every once in a while. However, because leggings stretch so easily, they can mask weight gain or water retention that helps increase your awareness of your health.
Before you know it, you could gain five to ten pounds and not notice much of a change until you try to fit into your “going out jeans.”
When it comes to wearing leggings, the key is moderation. Keep them in your circulation of outfits, and definitely enjoy them at the gym or in yoga class, but remember it’s healthiest to switch things up from time to time.
Have you ever had health problems due to leggings? Let us know in the comments below!