Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Getting a tingly feeling in your outer thigh? Blame your skinny jeans

Stock photo | Thinkstock/Stock photo | Thinkstock

As if coloured jeans weren't enough of a style dilemma (how to avoid looking like a Technicolor sausage?), skinny jeans are now under fire – and not from the fashion police.

Doctors caution that skinny jeans worn too tight can cause meralgia paraesthetica – a type of nerve damage, ABC2News reports.

"It's a disorder that occurs when one of the nerves that runs in the outer part of a thigh gets compressed," says Karen Boyle, a physician at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. "The pressure on it causes symptoms of tingling, numbness and pain in the outer part of the thigh."

Story continues below advertisement

The health hazard increases when wearers don a typical clubbing outfit – skinny jeans paired with stilettos, Dr. Boyle says.

High heels tilt the axis of the pelvis, adding to the pressure on those nerves, she explains. "It can make the symptoms worse."

The antidote, thank goodness, isn't wide-legged jeans. Doctors recommend that sufferers wear jeggings or skinny jeans made with stretch fabric. Otherwise, wearing too-tight denim could lead to permanent nerve damage, Dr. Boyle says.

Men who wear skinny jeans as a second skin should also pay attention to any pain or numbness in the outer thigh. But they needn't worry that their cigarette jeans habit will kill their chances of becoming a father some day.

According to urologists at the University of Iowa, the idea that tight jeans cause male infertility is based on myth. "There is very good evidence that shows that tight jeans and tight underwear, as well as all types of clothing, do not have any effect on sperm count," they write.

Nevertheless, wearing tight jeans could be risky in the hookup department. Stovepipe styles don't look good on muscular men, short-legged guys or anyone with a gut, notes the men's lifestyle website "The very tapered legs show any flaws or simply prove to be unflattering unless you are leaning towards the 'lean' side," the fashion advisers write.

Sadly, that goes for women too.

Story continues below advertisement

Has wearing skinny jeans ever caused you pain?

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to