Health experts are now warning us against wearing skinny jeans after reports emerged of a 35-year-old woman collapsing and spending four days in hospital because she was wearing a pair the day before.

While body-hugging jeans are a fashion essential, health experts say squeezing into a pair could end up cutting blood supply and damaging muscles and nerve fibres in the legs.

But it’s not just jeans we should be worried, about. Here are a few other ways we might be secretly harming your health.

1. Wearing high heels

(Dave Thompson/PA)
(Dave Thompson/PA)


Who doesn’t love gorgeous stilettos? But while high heels serve the purpose of making us look tall and seriously glam, they are also ruining our pins at the same time.

A recent study pointed out that wearing high heels regularly could lead to balance problems, as they alter the muscle around the ankle joint. Not only that, they can cause injuries as well. According to research published in The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, around 123,355 heel wearers reported injuries caused by their heels between 2002 to 2012.

Yet another study found that heels can also compromise muscle efficiency and fatigue by causing strain on the tendons joining the muscle to the bone. Wearing heels also affects the Achilles tendon, which can shorten and get stiff.

Visit Arthritis Research UK for tips on reducing the risk to your feet and footwear advice.

2. Wearing man-made fabrics

(Graham Hughes/AP)
(Graham Hughes/AP)


Certain synthetic fabrics are believed to contain dangerous chemicals. According to Underground Health Reporter, some of the toxins found in clothes with synthetic fibres include formaldehyde, brominated flame retardants and perfluorinated chemicals (Teflon).

And when our skin comes into contact with these chemicals, we put ourselves at higher risk of infertility, respiratory diseases and contact dermatitis. Formaldehyde, a colourless strong-smelling chemical, has been been linked to a 30% increase in lung cancer.

Also, a report published in 2012 by Greenpeace found varying levels of hazardous chemicals in clothes from the 20 global fashion brands they tested including Armani, Levi’s and Zara.

3. Wearing thongs

( J Pat Carter/AP)
(J Pat Carter/AP)


Yes, thongs are fun, sexy and a highly desired alternative to VPLs (that’s visible panty lines).

But they could also be harbingers of bacteria because of their close proximity to the anus. Doctors believe bacteria can travel around your garment to the vagina and urinary tract and could contribute to UTIs (urinary tract infections) and certain types of vaginitis that are caused by bacteria.

A study also pointed out that thongs cause problems with existing UTI patients by ‘rubbing along the anal area and depositing bacteria near the vagina and urethra’.

4. Wearing cotton fabrics

(Kimberly Vardeman/Flickr)
(Kimberly Vardeman/Flickr)


Cotton has long been considered by as the most natural and healthiest fabric you can find on this planet. But reports suggest it may not be as great as you think.

A study published by the Environmental Justice Foundation says: “In total, the world’s cotton farmers apply a staggering US$ 1,310 million (£832m) of insecticides to cotton each year.”

These chemicals typically remain in the fabric even after they are processed and can find their way to our skin – the largest and most absorbent organ in our body. Prolonged and extreme exposure to pesticides could result in dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, as well as skin and eye problems.

5. Wearing spanx and compression garments

(Leanne Italie/AP)
(Leanne Italie/AP)


Spanx have been big saviours for the likes of Kim Kardashian who swear by their body-enhancing benefits. But while they are great at hiding your wobbly bits away, these compression garments come with numerous health hazards like meralgia paresthetica – a numb, tingling, painful or burning sensation caused by constriction of nerves.

Dr Orly Avitzur was one of the first few people to recognise the link between spanx and meralgia paresthetica a few years ago when a 15-year-old patient came to her suffering from numbness and tingling in her left thigh.

“Fitted, constrictive garments might be responsible for other health problems, including the recurrent abdominal pain, possibly related to restriction of the bowels, especially after a meal,” Dr Avitzur wrote in a report published on Consumer Reports.

6. Wearing neckties

(Mark Lennihan/AP)
(Mark Lennihan/AP)


Neckties undoubtedly make you look smart but could also have underlying health risks. A study published in the Stroke Research and Treatment journal found slight changes in cerebrovascular reactivity on men who wore neck ties. It seems wearing a necktie puts a gentle pressure on the jugular vein (which returns blood from the head to the heart) and that could be seen as a potential marker for stroke.

While the authors suggest that the changes aren’t enough to influence stroke risk in healthy adults, it could potentially affect risk in adults with other stroke risk factors.

Another study found that wearing neckties caused a rise in the fluid pressure around eyeballs, putting wearers at a higher risk of glaucoma.

7. Carrying handbags

(Yui Mok/PA)
(Yui Mok/PA)


Our totes are our life. We can’t leave the house without them (where would we put or hand sanitisers?). Yet they might be more harmful than you think.

A study by The Center for Environment Health found deadly levels of lead in handbags being sold at one in every four retail stores visited (lead toxicity can cause heart disease, cancer and brain damage).

Not only that, another study by Initial Washroom Hygiene, found that women’s hand bags are home to more bacteria than the average toilet flush, because they are rarely cleaned.

8. Wearing jewellery



How can these pretty sparkly baubles look so pretty yet be so dangerous at the same time? A study conducted by Ecology Center a few years ago found high levels of unsafe chemicals including lead, chromium and nickel in costume jewellery after testing products from 14 different retailers such as Claire’s, Forever 21, H&M, and Kohl’s.

“All of these are harmful,” Dr Kenneth R Spaeth, of North Shore University Hospital, told CBS. “Some of them are known to be carcinogens. Many of these are known to be neurotoxic, meaning they can affect brain development.”

9. Wearing flip flops

(Rui Vieira/PA)
(Rui Vieira/PA)


Apparently, it’s not just high heels we should be worried about. Research suggests wearing thin flip flops might be the reason why you have painful plantar fasciitis.

A flip-flop wearer will often clench their toes while walking to keep their sandals from flying off – which can lead to repetitive stress on your foot. It also means you’ll take shorter steps that don’t match your natural walking rhythm.

10. Washing our clothes with detergent

(Susan Walsh/AP)
(Susan Walsh/AP)


We think the best way to keep our clothes clean is washing them. But apparently, using a laundry detergent will only introduce cancer-causing carcinogens and a range of other toxins into our clothing.

According to Underground Health Reporter, carcinogen is believed to cause toxic impairment of the nervous system, liver disease, kidney disease, respiratory failure, immune malfunction and hormone disruption.

The key is to look for more biodegradable, food-based detergents.

11. Wearing bras

(Devon Ravine/AP)
(Devon Ravine/AP)


We adore bras. We hate bras. They support boobs. They restrict boobs. A lot has been said about the merits and demerits of wearing a bra but more recently, a French scientist found (after a 15-year study) that they were actually pretty useless in general and might do more harm than good.

“Breasts would gain more tone and support themselves if no bra was used,” Jean-Denis Rouillon of Besançon CHU told The Connexion.

He added that using a bra means “supporting tissues will not grow and even they will wither and the breast will gradually degrade”.