Even if they are stylish or comfortable, some clothing items can have unwanted effects on your body when worn regularly. Pantyhose are one of those items, despite being a fall basic staple in many wardrobes. When you wear tights every day, this is what happens to your legs. The tightness of these chic outfit additions can actually lead to a few health problems if you’re not careful.
Before we launch into the negatives of pantyhose, there are some benefits to wearing them. For one thing, tights can help relieve your varicose veins, specifically those that provide compression. “Compression hose offer more support at the ankle and less compression as you go up the leg, so they help to push the blood up,” Luis Navarro, M.D., director of the Vein Treatment Center in New York City, told Everyday Health. That compression is especially helpful while traveling to reduce your risk of blood clots. In the same vein — pun intended — tights can also help prevent ankle swelling by promoting circulation.
Now, on to the downsides.
Potential risks of wearing tights
Along with providing leg compression, wearing tights also creates friction, which comes with a few risks. Like leggings, friction in your tights can cause skin conditions, like rashes and corns, according to Spectrum Foot Clinics. The chiropody/podiatry network also notes that nylon pantyhose are not breathable, and that can be bad for your feet. The lack of airflow creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and bacteria plus feet equals possible infection, such as abscesses and athlete’s foot — a condition Healthline describes as a “contagious fungal infection” of the foot’s skin.
Further, if tights are too tight, they can distort the natural resting position of the feet (by pulling the foot up) and ultimately cause pain, per Spectrum Foot Clinics. Certain shoes, such as high heels, can exacerbate the problem by changing the shape of the foot, arch, and step. When your feet don’t fall in their natural position, you can experience conditions like bunions and fallen arches.
So, if you want to layer tights with your skirts, be sure to select the right size and give your feet plenty of breathing breaks.
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