Here's Why You Probably Shouldn't Wear Shapewear Every Day

Shapewear can date back to a time in history when one of the most commonly known forms of it was the corset. During the Middle Ages, laced bodices hardened with paste were used to achieve an hourglass figure. Then, in the Elizabethan Era, corsets were made of steel, tightly hugging the torso to conceal the chest and accentuate the hips. Later in the Victorian Era, corsets were made of steel or whalebone, emphasizing a big bust and a small waist. As it evolved through the 1920s, the 1950s, and into today, shapewear got less stiff and harsh, using softer fabrics (via L'Officiel).

When women wore corsets made of steel, whalebone, or hardened paste, it affected their health. According to the Royal College of Surgeons of England, these types of corsets often caused difficulty breathing, as well as faintness. Long-term use of a corset also led to rib cage deformation. Additionally, other organs inside the body were tightly compressed together.

Today, however, shapewear is made primarily of nylon or spandex, materials meant to be tight and stretchy. The more nylon that shapewear contains, the more shaping it will give you. The garment can help shape your thighs, belly, hips, butt, or other areas of the body and will contain compression spots that will tuck it into place (via Crunchy Tales). However, even though today's shapewear is perfectly safe to wear, professionals warn that wearing it every day may pose some risks to your health.

Your skin may get irritated

One of the most common risks associated with wearing shapewear every day is skin irritation. Because of how tightly it presses against your body, shapewear may trap moisture and lead to chafing or other discomforts to the skin. Additionally, the materials in the garment may also cause an allergic reaction to the chemicals. If irritated enough, you may get an injury that could lead to an infection. "These garments touch with skin more than any other fabric you are wearing," hepatologist Dr. Jamile Wakim-Fleming, M.D., tells the Cleveland Clinic. "Because it's synthetic, you can develop an irritation."

According to MedicineNet, the skin around your genitals can also become irritated and infected. Shapers in this area may feel snugger than your usual garments and can trap moisture around the vulva. This can then lead to an increased risk of getting a yeast infection. A very tight shaping garment in this area may also push you to avoid the bathroom more because of its inconvenience to remove it. Holding back on a bathroom trip when you need to go can also increase your risk of a urinary tract infection. When choosing shapewear for this part of your body, find some that may have a cotton crotch and may be easier to remove.

Internal health effects

When you are wearing tight shapewear every day, you're putting your body through tight compression in rapid succession. This tight-fitting compression can affect your digestive health because it may cause you to feel an upset stomach. When it presses against your abdomen area, it may press your organs closer together which can slow the digestive process. Heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, bloat, and gas can also be a result of this strain (via MedicineNet).

If wearing shapewear begins to make parts of your body feel numb or tingling, you may be experiencing pinched nerves. Taken a step further, wearing shapewear every day puts your blood circulation at risk. Their tight fit against your muscles compresses blood vessels which can affect blood circulation. Less blood circulation can cause your heart to start pumping more blood to these areas which can put you at risk of blood clots where the blood cannot flow easily. This may cause you to feel faint, dizzy, or in pain while walking (via Onlymyhealth).

Remove your shapewear right away if you feel any of these symptoms. If your condition does not improve, always speak with your doctor. Get the most benefits out of your shapewear by finding the right size, finding a material that works for you, and wearing the shapewear less to avoid many of these risks.