The lingerie store that you pass each morning on your way to work has the cutest satin and lace push-ups and with women’s day just around the corner, you decide to treat yourself. What better way to celebrate this day than by feeling like a sexy goddess who just walked off a Victoria’s Secret catalogue!
But, before you scramble for your credit card you might want to pause for a moment; yes, it’s true that underwire bras will not cause cancer, but that does not mean that they don’t pose any problems at all. So, even though we are loathe to burst your bubble, here’s how wearing an underwire bra can affect your overall health.
How Wearing An Underwired Bra Affects Your Health
Skin Irritation & The Increased Risk Of Skin Infections
“If your skin is chaffed & abraded, bacteria or fungus can get into it & thrive in the spot until it causes an infection”
Come on ladies, let’s get real. Considering that the hard wire can press into your skin so deep, that it leaves marks, chafing is almost inevitable. Yes, the chaffing from an underwire bra is more of an annoyance and we’d put up with it quite happily, but such constant skin irritation increases the risk of skin infections.
We have naturally occurring microbes on the surface of our skin that pose no threat to us, as our skin acts as a barrier, keeping them at bay. However, if your skin is chaffed and abraded, bacteria or fungus can get into your skin and thrive in the spot until it causes an infection.
Furthermore, the underneath of your boobs are hot and moist – the perfect conditions for these nasties to set up shop!
Cuts & Punctures From Exposed Wire
“Any sudden twisting motion can send protruding underwire straight through your skin & deep into your flesh”
You enter a lingerie store and the sheer variety in bras is mind-boggling! Unfortunately, this comes at a price – your favorite bra is soon out of stock and replaced by newer models. And no matter what the stupid saleswoman says, you know that newer is not always better! So, you cling to your old ratty bra until it starts to fall apart and the underwire comes poking through the cloth.
Although you know that it’s time to let go and move on, it’s just not that easy. While that protruding underwire might just irritate your skin a little, if you are not careful, a sudden twisting motion can send that wire straight through your skin and deep into your flesh. You can be sure, nothing is worth that kind of pain!
“Nickel and other cheap metals used in underwire bras can irritate your skin and cause contact dermatitis”
Sometimes the edges of the underwire are still enclosed in cloth and only the ‘U’ of the underwire is exposed. You figure that as long as it’s not hurting you, you can make it chalao for another month or two! It’s not long before you notice that you’ve developed an itch and although you can ignore it for a little while, you know that it’s gone beyond your control when you excuse yourself from an important business meeting, just to go to the loo and scratch that itch! Underwire is generally made from cheap metals such as nickel which can react with your acidic sweat to give you a nasty case of contact dermatitis. It will take a visit to your derma and then a fortnight of sticky creams before the itching subsides!
Blocked milk ducts (in lactating women)
“Underwire can be constrictive & may impair the flow of milk, leading to blocked milk ducts – a rather painful & unpleasant condition”
Nothing compares to the joys of motherhood and although you don’t mind that your figure is now a little fuller, you know that you need to help of an underwire bra to make sure things don’t go downhill! Unfortunately, underwire can be constrictive and impair the flow of milk and can even lead to blocked milk ducts – a very painful problem! Many new mothers are not aware of this and only learn this lesson the hard way, so if you are breastfeeding, you might want to skip your underwire bra especially when you go to bed and look for other types of supportive bras.
Our Take: We would never suggest that you simply chuck your underwire bras but instead you can limit how often you wear one. Also, buy good brands as they are more likely to use better quality metal under wire or look for ones that have hardened plastic wire instead. While a pretty underwire bra will make you feel feminine, remember that an empowered woman is powerful from within. Don’t feel pressured into wearing one and at the same time don’t feel like it’s wrong if you choose to do so – the choice is entirely yours to make!