Wearing skinny jeans may be fashionable and flattering, but doctors are warning tight-hugging denim can cause serious nerve damage.
Doctors have also linked wearing super-tight jeans or “tight pants syndrome” to digestive problems, blood clots, pelvic pain, back pain, thrush, yeast infections and excess vaginal discharge and itching in women.
The term “tight pants syndrome” had been coined in 1993 by Dr. Octavio Bessa, an internist in Stamford, Conn., after he discovered that people who often wore too-tight trousers often had heartburn and abdominal distention.
Dr. Karen Boyle, a surgeon with the Greater Baltimore Medical Center told ABC News that she had seen an increasing number of patients suffering from ‘meralgia paresthetica’ as a consequence of their hip but bad-for health clothing choices.
Meralgia paresthetica also called the Bernhardt-Roth syndrome is numbness or pain in the outer thigh when the nerves that extends from the thigh to the spinal column are damaged. Some symptoms are tingling, numbness, pain and hypersensitivity in the upper legs.
“It’s a disorder that occurs when one of the nerves that runs in the outer part of a thigh gets compressed,” Boyle told ABC News.
She adds that wearing high heels with skinny jeans, a combination many women take on to lengthen the appearance of their legs, worsens symptoms because the heel tilts the pelvis in a way that increases the pressure of the skinny jeans.
Boyle said she had a female patient describe the condition as a “floating sensation” that made her feel weak.
While not many people know about meralgia paresthetica, the condition has been described in medical papers.
Researcher Malvinder Parmar had in 2003 described three cases of the nerve condition in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Parmar said that all three cases involved overweight women who had worn tight ‘low-rise’ trousers over the previous six to eight months, and had each felt tingling or burning sensations in their thighs and one patient was even worried that she was developing multiple sclerosis.
However, after their symptoms had been alleviated after they worse loose-fitting dresses for six weeks, Parmar reported.
Boyle said that people who often wear skinny jeans and start experiencing symptoms should think about swapping their tight jeans for jeggings (jean leggings) or jeans with added elastics to give them some stretch.
Boyle warned that those who endure the pain and continue to wear tight jeans could end up with serious permanent nerve damage.
In the past doctors have also warned men trying for a baby to avoid wearing skinny jeans because she tight-fitting denim can cause the testicles to overheat, lowering their sperm count.