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Is Shapewear Bad for Your Health?

As shapewear becomes more popular in a society obsessed with looking good, the risk of getting into health problems with shapewear has increased. Did you know your shapewear can be dangerous? Believe it or not, doctors are weighing in and there are real health risks associated with wearing shapewear. The risks are largely associated with poor fit, lack of circulation and too much restriction, and you can mitigate these risks by wearing appropriately-fitting shapewear. But what do you need to know to wear your shapewear safely and look smooth and trim in your clothes?

Acid Reflux, Heart Burn and Other Discomfort
The most common health problem associated with shapewear is acid reflux and heartburn. This is caused by women wearing shapewear that fits too tightly over the midsection.

To avoid acid reflux, heart burn and other discomfort, choose shapewear styles that aren’t too tight around your midsection. Consult our fit guidelines for help, and if you can’t breathe, sit and eat comfortably in your shapewear – it’s probably too tight.

Blood Clots
Yes, you read right – shapewear can cause blood clots! The covered elastic bands that hold the shapewear in place on your legs can actually lead to disruption of blood flow if they’re too tight. You should be particularly careful with elastic bands around the thighs and lower legs, as these are the areas where you’re most likely to form a blood clot through this issue. If a blood clot does form, it can move to other parts of your body and cause serious problems.

You know your shapewear is too tight in this area if they leave heavy marks or lines behind when you take it off. This is a sign you should look for a larger size or a different brand or fit of shapewear.

Nerve Damage and Circulatory Issues
Some women actually experience nerve damage and circulatory issues after doubling up their shapewear. Some celebrities have endorsed “layering” shapewear as a way to get more control and look great on the red carpet. Doctors advise against this, as too much restriction caused by layering shapewear can cause nerve damage and circulatory issues.

Fit is the Key for Avoiding Health Issues in Your Shapewear
The biggest way to avoid health issues with your shapewear is to ensure that it fits properly. Don’t go down a size looking for extra control and support. This can cause ALL of the issues outlined above. Always buy the correct size – they’re specifically designed for the size to help you look great and stay healthy. If you have questions about fit, consult our shapewear fit guidelines.

Remember: shapewear isn’t a magic bullet to help you go down two sizes. Some shapewear can help you reduce your measurement by one to two inches, but most shapewear simply helps contain trouble spots and help you look more trim and firm. Trying to downsize your shapewear in an effort to fit into smaller clothes just leads to potential health hazards – don’t do it!

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