Can sports clothes cause health problems?
Many men claim they feel more agile and comfortable when wearing compression shorts underneath their gym shorts instead of regular underwear. But they should be wary of the health consequences this could have on their genital area.
“The benefits of compression wear are generally negligible—but the potential problems aren’t,” says Dr. Philip Skiba, director of sports medicine at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill.
“Tight clothing that doesn’t breathe much holds moisture in the folds around the groin,” he says. “It’s the classic setup for the skin fungus tinea cruris, or jock itch, as well as ringworm.”
Both of these can cause discomfort for the infected individual as well as others – they can be transmitted during sexual contact.
And Dr. Skiba says compression itself has its own risks.“Tight gear – especially shorts – can cause pinched nerves, which we see in soldiers who wear tight, heavily loaded belts.”
Left untreated, pinched nerves can have long-term consequences, including fluid buildup, swelling and scarring.
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About the Author
Marrison Worthington, health enews contributor, is a public affairs and marketing manager at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois. She is a graduate of Illinois State University and has several years of global corporate communications experience under her belt. Marrison loves spending her free time traveling, reading organizational development blogs, trying new cooking recipes, and playing with her golden retriever, Ari.