Are Skinny Jeans Dangerous to Your Health?

It’s time to face facts. Skinny jeans are back in rotation and don’t seem to be going anywhere soon. For some that is exciting and for others it is a painful reality. Yet, the pain those people are feeling may not only be because of a TMI-glimpse of someone else’s skintight caboose (or front, yikes), but could be from some startling health side effects of the fashionably snug slacks.

Last year, a story went viral about a woman who experienced some frightening side effects after squatting and doing housework in her skinny jeans all day. The 35-year-old’s case was published in The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry last summer. As she was helping someone move, spending hours crouched in her tight pants, she noticed increasing discomfort. On her walk home she experienced foot drop—when you cannot lift, and therefore begin to drag, your toes—and foot numbness, causing her to fall and spend hours waiting for rescue.

Foot problems are not the only thing to look out for when wearing skinny jeans. Meralgia paresthetica, an “entrapment” neuropathy, happens when a crucial nerve in the thigh is compressed. According to another scholarly paper in the International Journal of Surgery, “[p]atients complain of a persistent burning sensation, tingling and aching pain, and hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity in the anterolateral aspect of the thigh” with this condition, which has been linked to super-tight pants.

In case these conditions aren’t frightening enough, the risk of twisting a testicle and experiencing pronounced groin discomfort exists for those with the right equipment. A survey of 2,000 British men found that at least one in ten experienced some kind of adverse side effect from skinny jeans. One in five had twisted a testicle and over a quarter were affected by bladder issues, including urinary tract infections. Sheepishly, I assume, 40 percent said they have been known to sacrifice their comfort for style.

The best advice for the fashionable may always be to use common sense when you dress. Fashion doesn’t always take into account your health and safety, so being an informed and responsible consumer is always a role we have to fill. If you simply must ride the skinny jean wave, find pairs that aren’t alarmingly uncomfortable—even investing in stretchy fabrics is a healthier alternative—and wear the appropriate clothing for your activities. Baggy jeans or sweats may not be what’s in style at the moment, yet they may be the most sensible choice for, say, crouching in front of cupboards for hours at a time while helping someone move house.

71 comments

Bailey R.
Bailey R2 years ago

Why would people want to wear pants that tight?

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Sierra B.
Sierra B2 years ago

wow

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Elisabeth Hansson
Elisabeth H2 years ago

This issue was a hot topic also in the 70s. tyfs

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S Gardner
sandy Gardner2 years ago

GET pants that have a stretch fabric. They look just as tight, but give you some (literally) breathing room.

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Kathryn Irby
Past Member 2 years ago

Not good for the circulation indeed!

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Ba H.
Ba H2 years ago

35 year olds should be smart enough to know when their pants are too uncomfortable to work in. and to fall and lie somewhere for hours? certainly someone that obsessed with fashion, has their phone jammed in those jeans somewhere

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Jennifer F.
Jennifer F2 years ago

Quite an odd article. I personally don't wear them because they are uncomfortable for me. I guess someone being uncomfortable but in style is fine for others but not me. I don't wear spiked heels either.

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Maud Morin
Maud M2 years ago

not interesting at all

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