The clothes we wear are often dictated by fashion and with our desire to conform with the latest cultural trends around the world. However, from a health perspective, the most important consideration of how you dress should be based primarily on local weather conditions. So it is perfectly ok to pull out your parkas, mittens, scarfs, stockings and jeans if you are located in a chilly and snowy location. In hot and humid India, it makes much more sense to wear light, breezy, thin clothes like dhotis, salwars, skirts, shorts or lungis. You can land up with painful and dangerous medical conditions with clothes unsuitable to your climate. Here's how your clothing could be harming you:
- Increased heat rashes or miliaria. Your vest could be the culprit!: A very common skin condition seen in hot and humid weather conditions is called “miliaria” and is caused by blocked sweat ducts. Thick, tight clothes hamper normal evaporation of sweat into the atmosphere and cause this kind of irritable heat rash. Simple physics dictates that any extra or double layer of cloth, like a vest, would further hamper evaporation and aggravate these rashes. While vests may save your overlying shirt from getting damp, they are certainly bad news for your underlying skin which has to carry the unevaporated sweat on its surface.
- Increased chances of fungal and bacterial infections. Ditch the Denim!: The hot and humid environment within slim-fitting, thick clothes creates ideal conditions for fungi and bacteria to proliferate. Itchy, red rashes like ringworm appear in the groins, underarms and other parts of the skin. Painful boils and itchy, pus-filled folliculitis are common and often require surgery. This kind of dangerous environment is easily created within the skin-hugging denims you see so many people wearing all around you.
- Bacterial and fungal resistance to antimicrobials: Your dermatologist will treat your infections with appropriate antibiotics or antifungals. Unfortunately, in this era of global warming, many patients fail to respond and are tortured by recurrent, severe infections in spite of adequate dosing of medicines. One major reason is clothing and fashion which does not match the environment, creating ideal conditions for resistant, harmful bugs to multiply. You should choose lighter, airier, non-synthetic clothes that let your skin ‘breathe’ and does not allow sweat, dirt and deadly bugs to stick to your skin.
- Increased chances of urinary and genital infections: Tight, synthetic undergarments are thought to increase chances of genital and urinary infections. Tight and ill-fitting underwear can also cause discomfort, soreness and chafing by repeated friction.
- Body Odor: Body odor can be embarrassing and is aggravated by full-sleeved shirts, long undergarments, tight leggings, stockings and skinny jeans.
- Allergic dermatitis: Many individuals develop allergic rashes with certain common items like jewellery, footwear, earrings, cloth dyes, wristwatches and metallic buttons. A combination of heat, sweat and dissolved allergens precipitates these rashes in predisposed individuals.
- Environmental damage! Use minimum clothes: You definitely need to cover your skin, but are you cluttering your wardrobe with clothes that you keep on purchasing and hardly ever use? The apparel industry exploits huge amounts of natural resources like water, plant products, petroleum products, chemicals and electricity. You yourself require quite a bit of water, laundry detergents, and electricity just to maintain your clothes. Is it worth the environmental cost to purchase and maintain clothes that you will hardly ever use?
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!