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Jeggings a health hazard as well as a fashion hazard

When you wear jeggings, you're not just making the rest of us uncomfortable. The super-tight denim may cause you discomfort, too, experts warn.
When you wear jeggings, you're not just making the rest of us uncomfortable. The super-tight denim may cause you discomfort, too, experts warn.

Jean leggings – known by the dreadful portmanteau “jeggings” -- have been declared hot again this fall, a fashion trend that begs a burning question: Aren’t those ultra-tight denim leggings a sure-fire recipe for yeast infections? “Any tight clothing that restricts air circulation to the crotch area could lead to yeast infections,” says Dr. Betsy Evans, an ob-gyn at Issaquah Obstetrics and Gynecology in Issaquah, Wash., and former chief of staff at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, Wash. “Yeast flourish when it’s wet and moist and so if that area doesn’t dry out, women are more prone to infections. We see more yeast infections in women who wear really tight jeans or any kind of tight clothing.” Of course, not everyone who dons a pair of jeggings will immediately come down with the telltale burning and itching of a yeast infection. “Some of it has to do with how long you wear the jeggings,” says Evans. “If you wear them for a long period of time – all day, every day – it would increase your chances. If you’re wearing them once in a while and the genital area has time to dry out in between, then I think you’re probably okay.” Incidentally, Evans says one of the treatments for yeast infection is to wear loose-fitting clothing or no underwear, like a skirt with nothing underneath. Could that mean Paris Hilton and Britney Spears have been suffering from chronic yeast infections all these years? “I’m not their gynecologist so I can’t tell you,” says Evans. Amelia Pontes, a 25-year-old fashion blogger from Boston, says she’s been wearing jeggings steadily for two months but hasn’t had any gynecological issues as of yet. “I don’t think I’ve worn a pair of regular jeans since I got my first pair,” she says. “I have about five or six pair at this point. But I don’t wear them super tight. They’re fitted and tight but they’re not constricting. I can breathe.” As for whether all of her can breathe, Pontes says she’s not concerned about yeasties. “I wonder if it’s one of those things that people always say – like your mom,” she says. “They just don’t want you to wear tight jeans. People said that about thongs, as well, or anything that comes out that’s not conservative. They attach some kind of harm to it – ‘Something will happen if you wear these!’ Next week, girls will get pregnant from jeggings.” Health hazards aside, tell us: What's your opinion on jeggings? Do you love them? Or loathe them? Find The Body Odd on Twitter and on Facebook.