The Real Reason You Shouldn't Wear Shapewear Every Day

Women have been using all kinds of underwear to enhance their curves since at least the 1600s. Tight-lacing corsets might have highlighted an hourglass shape, but they also caused some serious damage to the body. By cinching the waist, corsets restricted airflow to the lungs, which resulted in poor digestion and even led to atrophy of the back and pectoral muscles. In 1908, French doctor Ludovic O'Followell captured how corsets altered the shape of the ribcage with X-rays. O'Followell went on to publish several papers on just how dangerous they could be (via Cnet).

Thank goodness the shapewear of today is nothing like corsets from the past. Your shapewear might be your best friend when it comes to smoothing out your figure, and that's okay. However, just because you can wear it every day doesn't mean you should. You may want to slide into some shapewear every morning, but we've explored a few reasons why you shouldn't wear it daily.

Shapewear can lead to several problems

Like the corsets from days gone by, tight shapewear can lead to breathing problems (per Self). Dermatologist Dr. Mara Weinstein told Self that shapewear that is too tight can lead to shortness of breath. In addition, it can decrease your oxygen supply, which can make you feel lightheaded or dizzy. The best way to know if your shapewear is too tight is if it leaves a mark on your skin. 

Aside from poor-fitting shapewear, your skin might not like some of the chemicals in many of the products, which can lead to an allergic reaction (via the Cleveland Clinic). If you notice red skin accompanied by some itching, you might need to try a different brand. Another risk associated with shapewear is nerve damage. If your shapewear is too tight, hepatologist Dr. Jamile Wakim-Fleming told the Cleveland Clinic that it can cause tingling and numbness. Furthermore, tightness around the hip area might result in a lack of blood flow to the lower legs, leading to complications if you have a blood circulation problem.

While you can avoid some of these problems by getting the right size of shapewear, Weinstein ​​suggests giving your body a break from wearing it every day.