Well-fitted clothing feels comfortable and looks great, but excessively tight apparel can cause skin irritation, numbness, and restricted movement. Read to learn more about these three ways tight clothes can affect your body and health.
1. Skin Irritation
Tight-fitting clothes can dig into the skin and irritate, especially behind your knees and at the crooks of your arms, armpits, and groin. The tight fabric also reduces breathability and traps sweat on the skin’s surface.
Fabric rubbing on wet skin can cause painful chafing. If you need more breathable clothing, wear clothing that isn’t too tight and allows air to pass through to keep you dry and comfortable.
Clothing with certain chemicals or dyes can cause skin irritation too. While tightness isn’t the root of the problem in this case, excessively tight clothes keep the irritants pressed against the skin and can worsen reactions.
The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve runs from the lower spine through the abdominal cavity and into the thigh. When clothing such as tight pants and belts put excessive pressure on this nerve, it can cause meralgia paresthetica.
Symptoms of meralgia paresthetica include tingling, pins and needles, numbness, and stinging on the front and outside of the thigh. Wearing looser pants should resolve the problem and clear up symptoms.
3. Restricted Movement
Another way that tight clothes can affect your body is by restricting your movement. Tight shirts, blouses, and other tops will constrict around the back of the garment and at the armholes. Excessively tight pants and other lower body garments limit your ability to take wide steps, run, or jump.
Restricted movement can cause anything from mild annoyance to great discomfort. The more freely you can move, the better your joints and muscles can work through daily activities.
A healthy range of motion is especially important for some situations, such as exercising outdoors. Even when you’re wearing layers in cold weather, the clothes should not be so tight that they limit your agility. A full range of motion will help you move faster and keep your blood flowing for warmth.