We’re willing to bet that you wouldn’t dare step out in your favorite body-con dress without the help of your best pair of Spanx. But new studies have shown that your shape wear could cause serious health issues, even when worn correctly.
Regardless of whether you wear Spanx for a night out or compression tights to improve your workout, it turns out that any item of clothing that compresses your body could be reason for concern. With the rising popularity of items that squish and sculpt, shape wear is now a $680 million dollar market.
According to a report in the LA Times, the dangers of wearing too-tight clothing range from nerve damage, digestive failure and blood clots. Pretty scary, right?
Dr. Dennis Cardone of New York University notes that wearing your tummy-tamers for too long can lead to a condition called meralgia paresthetica. For those who don’t speak in medical terms, this refers to a pressure on your nerves that run down the front of your hips that leads to numbness, tingling and pain down your legs. It can last for days and even weeks, and can cause permanent damage.
But this is just part of the problem for women who wear shapewear. Jay Kuemmerle, a gastroenteroligst, told the LA Times that intense pressure on the abdomen squeezes internal organs and can result in reflux and stomach pain. This is because the stomach acids are being forced into the esophagus.
Slower digestion is another stomach issue associated with prolonged use of shapewear. This can cause serious tummy bloating, which can outweigh any of the visual benefits of wearing garments that sculpt your mid section.
All in all, there’s not much good that can come from wearing shapewear – besides a confidence boost. If you’re still totally committed to your trusty Spanx, you can lessen the chances of health issues by ensuring you are wearing your correct size (and no smaller!) as well as only slipping them on for a few hours once every so often.