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Are your skinny jeans bad for you?

07 July 2015, 16:00Lynn Butler

The term ‘it’s painful to be beautiful’ comes to mind when I think of the recent skinny jeans scandal. Recently, the Daily Mail reported that skinny jeans should come with a warning sign after news that an Australian woman had to have her skinny jeans cut off.

The 35-year-old woman was unable to walk unaided for four days, due to her severely swollen lower legs. The swollen legs were caused by her squatting for most of the day entire day, while wearing tight-fitted jeans. The woman had been emptying cupboards and by nightfall, she could barely walk, prompting her to trip and fall.

Thomas Kimber, from the University of Adelaide noted in the study that if the woman had not arrived in hospital, the compression would've prolonged, which might have caused residual nerve damage.

What is compartment syndrome?

The painful sensation that can be cause by wearing skinny jeans is known as compartment syndrome. According to WebMD, compartment syndrome is when excessive pressure builds up and due to the pressure the blood cannot flow.

There are two types: acute compartment syndrome, where pain develops over a period of time and abdominal (chronic) compartment syndrome for patients in a critical condition, normally on life support. The symptoms of compartment syndrome include numbness, pain, swelling and any weird sensation you feel in your legs. It’s very serious and should be attended to as surgery is required.

Where to now?

Now, you're probably thinking, 'Why would you squat, whilst wearing skinny jeans?' Well, she didn't do it deliberately and the last thing you could imagine, while cleaning the cupboard is for your legs to conk in. It’s similar to when you wear socks for too long, you get a sock tan or pattern on your legs, it’s the same, but only this time you’ll be paralyzed. Hectic, isn’t it?

Which makes me wonder, should skinnies come with a warning sign saying, 'Pick a bigger skinny size'? Or maybe they could sell the skinnies like they do in a lingerie store, where you get a bra-fitting consultant. Too much? Maybe?

We spoke to Woolworths about the dangers of skinny jeans and they released this statement:
 “None of our customers have ever reported being injured by our skinny jeans. When developing clothing, we aim to offer our customers, a wide enough range of choice, to suit their varied needs and tastes.

Versatile and always on-trend, denim is popular. While, some of our customers prefer figure hugging jeans, they do not want to sacrifice comfort. For this reason, when we design jeans, fit and comfort are top of mind.”

We wanted to know if we compartment syndrome should be a concern after this unfortunate incident, so we took to the streets to find out.

Carly said, "Sometimes when the skinny is too tight, my toes feel like they have pins and needles. And this happens especially if I sit cross-legged... [And] this story doesn't impact me, because I won't be jumping around in skinnies all day."

Renste said, “I won't lie, I do feel discomfort half the time I wear skinnies, if they not too tight, I find myself adjusting them all the time, also I have to make sure I sit properly in order to not rip them, yeah... It's tricky pulling that off. I love skinnies too much to not wear them. I went shopping one day, threw out all my regular sized jeans and replaced them all with skinnies and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Here is a funny music video on compartment syndrome called SPS:

What do you think about your skinny jeans? Is it time to throw them out?

- Women24


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