Many women nowadays are wearing yoga pants on a regular basis. Not only are they extremely comfy, but they compliment body shape as well. Multiple stores are well known for their yoga pants such as the very popular Lululemon, Athleta and Nike. Yoga pants are not only worn for yoga today, but for grocery shopping or getting lunch with friends. This trend of wearing gym clothing is known as “athleisure”.
Although yoga pants may be the coziest item of clothing you own, they could be causing substantial harm to your health.
Here are a few of the health issues related to wearing yoga pants…
Skin Rashes & Zits
Dr. Michael Eidelman, the medical director of Chelsea Skin & Laser and assistant professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, told Mic that there are a variety of skin issues that can pop up thanks to clothes that “don’t breathe as well and hold sweat closer to the skin,” thereby creating “so much warmth and moisture.”
One big concern, Eidelman said, is folliculitis, an inflammation of the hair follicle that can come from damage or blocking of the follicles, thanks to tight clothes or rubbing. Folliculitis on the upper back is common for women thanks to sports bras, noted Dr. Elizabeth Hale, a dermatologist and medical professor at New York University, on the Dr. Oz blog. But any extended friction can create a risk, like spinning, which Eidelman said can cause folliculitis on your butt (all the more reason not to stay “in the saddle” during your next SoulCycle session).
Yoga pants are very flattering and comfortable, but who wants to deal with rashes on their inner thighs and butt acne?
Many women who constantly wear yoga pants are developing fungal infections from wearing yoga pants. The warm, wet environment of a sweaty pair of yoga pants creates the ideal conditions for the fungi that cause yeast infections to grow. Since most yoga pants are made from synthetic material, yeast infections become even more inflamed. Another fungal infection that affects routine wearers of athletic gear is Tinea Cruris, commonly known as jock itch. These fungal infections can be extremely painful, itchy, and uncomfortable.
Your gym or yoga studio can be harmful too
Not only can yoga pants cause infections and skin issues, but yoga mats can be dangerous as well. People come into class and sweat profusely, then leave a mat to be used by the next person without being cleaned. This sweat can lead to bacteria growing and spreading to the next person using the gym surface or yoga mat.
According to Elle.com:
Yoga mats are the worst,” said Dr. Robert Lahita, a professor of medicine at Rutgers School of Medicine. In addition to his M.D., Lahita also holds a PhD in microbiology, has worked in both infectious diseases and immunology, and has spent many years as a yoga practitioner, so he is particularly well qualified to comment on what lurks in an unwashed yoga mat. According to him, that can include bacteria, fungi, viruses, and more. “A yoga mat is a perfect incubator for many of our skin infections,” said Lahita. “The yoga mat is a very fertile source for infection, mainly because people sweat on them and they rarely are cleaned.
How to keep yourself healthy & free of infections
Even though workout clothes are very trendy and comfortable, they could be causing you some health issues. To keep yourself healthy, be sure to change your yoga pants after you finish your work out. It is a good idea to put on another item of clothing that is breathable and give your skin a break from the tight fitting yoga pants. Taking a shower and washing away the sweat is also a great idea.
When you go take yoga or spin class, be sure to clean the area before you use it. It is best to bring your own mat to yoga to ensure you do not get any skin infections from a previous user.
Yoga pants are amazing for many reasons, they are flattering and easy to live in! But if you want to stay free of rashes and infections, you have to give them a break every once in a while.