According to leading health professionals such as heart specialists and dermatologists, and regardless of whether you are a man or woman, wearing tight underwear, jeans/trousers and socks can be very damaging to your health.

The underwear

Tight underwear not only restricts the shape of your body but also creates problems with blood circulation. Subsequently the nerves in those areas can become numbed. And, if the body tissue doesn't receive enough oxygen through the blood flow, death can incur.

If you are a man and hoping to father children, wearing constrictive underwear causes an increase in temperature around the scrotum which is one inhibitor to healthy sperm production and sperm mobility.

Women's underwear that clings too tightly to the upper or lower abdomen could contribute to discomfort. High-rise knickers that are too tight can compress the stomach and cause acid reflux into the oesophagus, which leads to heartburn. Low-rise panties that are too tight can decrease blood circulation in the upper thigh area, resulting in irritation, tingling or numbness. As in the case for men, women should try to wear non-constrictive underwear for the general health of their reproductive organs. This region also requires plenty of air circulation for the sake of proper hygiene and defence against infection and irritation. It is also wise not to use shapewear too often as it can compress the body and puts extra pressure on the bladder, meaning you may have to use the bathroom more often. Long term use can actually lead to persistent pelvic, lower limb and back pain.

Trousers and jeans

Skinny jeans and skin tight trousers will also cause problems with fertility, can restrict blood flow to the joints and muscles, affect digestion and cause body cramps.

Socks and tights

The tight band at the top of socks or tights can also affect the body circulation, e.g. compression around the calves can close off the arteries that supply blood to the feet. This can create pain after walking for long periods, and over time can lead to further complications such as skin ulcers.

But it isn't just about wearing the correct size. The choice of fabric is very important because if the covered skin doesn't breathe properly problems can then incur.

The fabric

Any fabric that doesn't allow the skin to breath and which continuously rubs up against your skin can create infections such as a red rash or spots. These usually form in the groin area and around the waistline. Think of those tight lycra pants that people wear for yoga and workouts, when the body temperature increases due to exercise, additional heat is created around the waist and groin which in turn can create irritation and infections. Lace can look sexy in underwear but isn't a breathable fabric which again creates skin irritation. Cotton is ideal for underwear as it is a breathable fabric. Seamless underwear is ideal as tight elastic can rub and irritate the skin, and if ignored can cause scarring.

Socks come in a wide range of fabrics and according to the website the choice of fabric depends on the activity. Cotton appears to come out on top as it allows the skin to breathe, followed by quality wool. Do check out the choices of sock fabrics on the website, The sock should feel snug but also comfy. It is therefore not a good idea to buy the brands of sock that offer a kind of one size fits all. It’s important that the heel of the sock aligns with the heel of your foot. Also ensure there is enough room for your toes, if there isn't, go up a size and if your toes don't reach the end of the sock, go down a size. Many socks these days are made without elastic which is great as this avoids the common problem of the sock pinching around the ankle.


The journalist Steph Coelho writing in, outlines the advantages of body hugging clothing, for example they can boost our confidence, create the illusion of a sleeker appearance and help us move more freely during exercise. But at the same time she suggests that it is important to do a mental body scan from time to time to check for discomfort and other signs of too-tight clothing. For example, if you're unable to draw a full breath it may be time to consider swapping certain clothing items for a bigger size.

We also suggest to clients who like to wear the latest trendy tight clothing that they
limit the amount of time spent wearing them as this will give their skin a chance to breathe and avoid many of the aforementioned problems. In our opinion underwear and most items of clothing should allow the wearer to move easily without restriction and we fully endorse what Steph Coelho suggests, i.e. that you move up to the next size if you are experiencing any restriction problems, skin rashes etc. And of course as a relief from the current hot climate here in Portugal wearing looser clothing and no socks or tights will help to keep us cool, especially around the legs and feet. Plus in addition, feeling the air between our body and our clothing also helps us to be more agile and most certainly more relaxed.

At Natural Joki Flow we offer a variety of treatments for a wide range of painful conditions as well as offering relaxing treatments. Please call us on 910 665 601 for a short consultation and to make an appointment.