While bras and underwear seem harmless, Sapna Palep, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and CEO of online lingerie retailer Journelle, sees her patients dealing with the same issues over and over again in her daily practice. And some of them are caused by seemingly innocent factors like material and fit. From underwear that causes persistent yeast infections to bras that cause pressure cysts, here are the things to watch out for when shopping for lingerie.
Top 4 things to think about when shopping for bras and underwear
While underwire bras are great for giving your girls a boost, you shouldn’t wear them all the time. Dr. Palep says it’s important to make sure he also has underwire-free options in his drawer to protect her body.
“There are certain activities and times of the day and year when non-wired bras and bralettes are a better solution,” she says. “Sweating, for example, can cause further irritation in an underwired bra. Rapid, repetitive movements during busy schedules and exercise are also a common cause of pressure cysts, abrasions, infections, and irritant or contact dermatitis.” .
If you sleep in a bra, it’s also important to make sure it’s wireless. You’ll still have the comfort and support you crave, minus the health issues. “Non-wired bras are constructed much like underwired bras, but they don’t have an underwire in the unworn shell. They provide more support than bralettes but reduce blood flow less than underwire bras,” she says. .
2. Unbreathable fabrics
Have you checked what material your underwear is made of? If it is not a breathable option, watch out. “Sweat cannot evaporate with unbreathable fabrics, leaving moisture trapped on the skin. This can lead to fungal and bacterial growth, and most synthetic fabrics are a known cause of this,” says Dr. Palep. Instead, he recommends opting for options that use more breathable fabrics, such as natural fiber fabrics like cotton, for example.
3. The setting
Yes, it’s annoying to be asked if you want to try on your bra every time you walk into a lingerie store. But a proper fit doesn’t just look better, it’s also important for your health.
“Bra fittings should be as frequent as skin consultations,” says Dr. Palep. “Wearing ill-fitting bras and underwear can cause excessive friction and occlusion in areas of high sensitivity. This can lead to cyst formation, infection, abrasions and dermatitis. For example, cyst formation can be caused by excessive pressure and occlusion of a hair follicle. And ill-fitting underwear is a common cause of prolonged wetness in the genital area, which can lead to yeast infections.”
4. Elastic bands
Peace out, rubber bands. They may have been cute in your underwear years ago, but there’s no need to buy any wearing it today. Dr. Palep says sticking with free-cut microfiber, cotton, and mesh in the gusset and waistband is a much better idea.
“Remove any irritable, restrictive, or body-marking elastic from the softer, more sensitive dermal regions of the body,” she says. “Like the option of wearing non-wired bras instead of underwired bras in specific conditions, elastic-free underwear belongs in everyone’s drawer.”
Here’s how to shop for the most comfortable underwear ever, according to a lingerie pro. Then check out bras that can help with back pain, because we all could use a little more support in our lives.