The latest “athleasure” trend has made it acceptable and even chic to walk around in public looking like you’ve just come from the gym. It makes sense, since workout clothes are designed for comfort so it can be tempting to wear them even after a gruelling workout session. But before you march out of the gym to your grocery store in your leggings and sports bra to do some last-minute shopping, experts warn that this can cause skin diseases and a host of other health issues.
According to the Daily Mail wearing your gym clothes after a workout can result in illnesses from folliculitis to yeast infections and heat rashes. The reason being that activewear tends to breathe less than normal clothes.
The Mayo Clinic describes folliculitis as small red bumps or white-headed pimples around hair follicles and the infection can spread turning into crusty sores. Leggings and most workout gear doesn’t allow sweat to evaporate off the body and creates a damp environment for bacteria to grow and thrive.
If you regularly get thrush, your gym attire may also be the culprit. Vaginal thrush is a fungal infection that thrives in warm, moist environments. Not removing sweaty workout pants means you expose yourself to dampness for an extended period of time, which can make it easier to get thrush.
Other skin disorders caused by excessive exposure to moisture include intertrigo, an inflammation of the skin. This happens in warm moist areas of the skin like armpits, inner thighs and underneath the breast.
Skin disorders aren’t the only things to worry about. Fitness pants that are too tight can cause meralgia paresthetica. This is numbness which runs down the leg, according CNBS News, and is mainly due to a pinched nerve in the pelvis.
Not wearing your workout clothing for longer than you need to and making sure you wash them after use can help prevent most of these unpleasant problems.