Fashion victims: Too tight skinny jeans can cause nerve damage, doctor warns
10:49 GMT, 23 May 2012
From Kate Moss to Russell Brand, skinny jeans are a integral part of any hipster's wardrobe. But those who are fans of the tight-hugging denim should be warned – they can cause serious nerve damage.
A U.S doctor said she had seen a number of patients who were suffering from 'meralgia paresthetica' as a result of their trendy clothing choices.
The disorder causes symptoms of tingling, numbness and pain in the upper legs.
Kate Moss (right) is a fan of the skinny jeans but compressing the thighs can cause nerve damage
Dr Karen Boyle from the Greater Baltimore Medical Center flagged up the condition. She told ABC News: 'It's a disorder that occurs when one of the nerves that runs in the outer part of a thigh gets compressed.'
Wearing high heels with skinny jeans to lengthen the appearance of your legs apparently worsens symptoms because tilting the pelvis increases the pressure.
Dr Boyle said one woman described the condition as a 'floating sensation' that made her feel weak.
Although not widely known about, meralgia paresthetica has been noted in medical papers. In 2003, Malvinder S Parmar reported on three cases in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Dr Parmar said the patients were all overweight women who had worn tight 'low-rise' trousers over the previous six to eight months.
They had each experienced tingling or burning sensations in their thighs and one woman was even concerned she could be developing multiple sclerosis. However, Dr Parmar said the symptoms resolved after they wore loose-fitting dresses for six weeks.
Dr Boyle said fashionistas who start experiencing symptoms should consider swapping their tight jeans for jeggings or at least jeans with added lycra to give them some stretch.
She warned that if you ignore the pain and continue to wear tight jeans you could end up with permanent nerve damage.
It's not the first time tight-fitting trousers have come under the spotlight. Doctors may advise men trying for a baby to avoid them as they may cause the testicles to overheat, lowering their sperm count. Wearing them can also increase your chances of developing thrush.