Skinny jeans certainly look sexy but they can cause plethora of health issues. Recently, an Australian woman collapsed after wearing ultra tight jeans which cut off circulation to her legs. Apart from causing significant nerve damage and muscle weakness, skinny jeans also tend to rub against the skin, especially in hot weather, causing heat or sweat rashes. If a person continues wearing the jeans, the thick and coarse material further abrades the fragile skin leading to blisters and secondary skin infections. So if you are wondering why your legs itch upon wearing jeans, read on; this guide is for you.
Types of skinny jeans rash
Skinny jeans can lead to several types of skin rashes.
Pants Paresthesia syndrome
This is a rash usually seen in adult males who frequently wear tight jeans. Most patients suffering from PPS complain about burning sensation in the lower extremities. This rash is usually triggered by wearing clothing other than that made of cotton. Patients suffering from pants paresthesia are advised to wear loose fitting cotton pants. If jeans are necessary to be worn, one could wear well-washed loose jeans.
Candida and yeast infections
Tight jeans or skinny jeans in women can lead to fungal infections like candida. The jeans restrict air flow to the private areas as a result of which the fungus thrives and spreads rapidly. Candida can lead to itching, burning and whitish discharge in the vagina.
Another common rash from jeans rubbing the thighs and legs is heat rash. This is rampant in the warm and humid months. If you happen to wear skinny jeans in the warmer seasons, your body sweats excessively in order to regulate the temperature. Sometimes though, the sweat mechanism might break down, causing the sweat glands to be blocked with sweat, debris and hair follicles. As a result, the sweat remains trapped underneath the skin leading to tiny boils, pustules, pimples and blisters. Such a rash caused by skinny jeans is called as prickly heat or heat rash.
If you feel your tight pants are causing tiny red bumps on your legs and feet, you may be suffering from a skinny jeans rash condition called folliculitis. Both men and women could suffer from it. The bacteria and fungi thrive on the sweat and inflame the hair follicles, and eventually lead to red pus filled blisters and bumps on the legs.
Acne is not restricted to the face and upper back but can also result from rash caused by the jeans button and the thick denim material. Thigh and leg acne can occur anywhere and in men, it can even be seen on the scrotum. Women who wear tight underwear, thongs etc could also suffer from thigh acne. The condition starts in the groin area as blackheads, zits and pimples and usually ends up in full blown painful acne with pus and cysts. The tiny hair in the crack in the buttock area can also get inflamed with sweat and dead skin. The tight jeans further cuts off air supply to this region causing painful butt acne. In case of patients already suffering from hormonal imbalance, the sebaceous glands go into overdrive mode and produce more sebum. This leads to worsening of the skinny jeans rash and thigh acne.
In some cases, the metallic fasteners and jeans buttons could also lead to a condition known as textile contact dermatitis. It results from the formaldehyde and textile dyes used in the clothing fibers. This gives rise to a reddish rash that is itchy and painful.
If the skinny jeans rash persists, make sure you get it examined by your dermatologist. Most mild cases of heat rash or folliculitis caused by the jeans disappear within a couple of days. Persistent and recurrent rashes need medical treatment.
Your doctor might also ask you to wait and observe the symptoms for a few days. In some cases, a new detergent might also cause rash or dermatitis. There are many detergents made specifically for sensitive skin which can help reduce such rashes.
Shaving the hair on legs and groin area can also lead to in-growth of hair which then develops into folliculitis. If this is the cases, you might want to wait before using specific treatment. It is best to seek help for ingrown hair since over time, these could cause permanent skin darkening, itchiness and even secondary skin infections.
Treating the rash
- Remove the jeans immediately.
- Bathe in cool water with a mild soap. You can also soak in a tub with warm water to which some colloidal oatmeal has been added.
- Apply hydrocortisone cream to the rash to curb itchiness and redness.
- Apply soothing aloe vera gel to the rash.
- Apply calamine lotion to the rash to stop itchiness and reduce swelling.
Preventing skinny jeans rash
- Avoid wearing tight jeans as far as possible, especially in the hot summer months. If possible, do not wear for them more than a couple of hours. For stylish look and fashion conscious people, there are slightly loose-fitting denim pants that look great; else loose cotton pants are best.
- Make sure you wash your jeans in cold water and with a hypoallergenic detergent to wash away dyes, irritants, sweat and other allergens that could aggravate the rash.
Skinny jeans can lead to many problems including sweat or heat rash. You can always wear skinny jeans once in a while but do try to avoid sacrificing the health of your skin for the sake of fashion.