8 Underwear Mistakes That Can Mess With Your Health (And Style)

Something you wear every day could be causing you more problems than you’d ever imagine.

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You might think that just remembering to put on underwear each day is good enough, but we’re here to tell you otherwise. Believe it or not, some of these mistakes can even be harmful to your health.

We all know that wearing underwear for more than one day is a big no-no, but did you know there are mistakes just as detrimental to your health and style that you could be making every day?

No, we’re not just talking about the temporary embarrassment of wearing black underwear with a pair of white jeans or the slight discomfort of wearing something too skimpy. The wrong habits when it comes to buying, washing, and wearing underwear could be causing you lasting issues that are more than just embarrassing.

They’re too small.

Many women might not think there’s anything too wrong with wearing underwear that are a bit small—after all, they’re the only ones who’ll know, right? However, aside from not giving yourself a muffin top, there are plenty of good reasons to make sure you’re buying yourself underwear that fits.

Underwear that’s too small can keep your downtown area hot and humid, which is essentially the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and infections. The same goes for wearing pantyhose often, too.

The Solution?

To make sure you’re getting yourself the right size, shop by brand and determine what your size is in that label.

Don’t buy one size across the board just because you wear it in one brand or style of underwear. They can be incredibly different from company to company.

They’re washed with scented detergents.

If you’re like most people, you probably just toss your underwear in with the rest of your laundry and call it a day. Unfortunately, though, the scented soaps and fabric softeners you might use for your jeans and shirts can actually be wreaking havoc on your lady bits.

The skin down there tends to be more sensitive than on the rest of your body, and it can be irritated incredibly easily—even by something as simple as a scented soap. Not only that, but the fragrances and chemicals in things like dryer sheets and detergents can even make your skin burn or itch.

The Solution?

Try to wash all of your underwear separately from the rest of your clothes in detergents and fabric softeners that are unscented.

Even better, look for products that are labeled hypoallergenic, so you can be sure they’re free of harsh irritants found in most commercial laundry products.

They’re not cotton.

In a perfect world, our underwear would be made of nothing but cotton, but most people wear pairs that are at least lined with the natural fabric. If you’re not one of them, it’s time to go shopping, especially if you’re someone who often finds themselves with some type of infection or irritation down there.

Lace, polyester, and other synthetic fabrics can hold in moisture and heat, which can not only cause irritation but create the perfect environment for bacteria and fungus to hang around in. Unfortunately, even silk is a culprit.

The Solution?

Try to stick with underwear made from only cotton as much as you can, or it least make sure it’s lined with cotton.

If you have to wear underwear made from other materials or you refuse to get rid of your favorite cotton-free pair, try to save them only for special occasions or for shorter nights out.

They move around.

Women turn to thong underwear for a lot of different reasons, and one of them is because they hate the dreaded VPLs—visible panty lines. It’s an understandable desire, not wanting your underwear to bunch up and create lines on the back of your pants, but this type of skimpy underwear does more harm than good.

Not only are they typically pretty tight, but they can also shift throughout the day, especially if you’re active. Unlike other underwear, the back part of a thong can sit against you skin and transfer some pretty gnarly bacteria from back to front and leave you with an infection.

The Solution?

If VPLs are your issue, you’re in luck, because companies now sell many types of underwear in fabric that is designed to have a seamless look.

If you like thongs because of the skimpy look, however, try out the “cheeky” underwear style, which is kind of like a thicker version that won’t rub against you in the back.

They’re always stained.

Hey, every woman probably has at least one pair of period panties; no one’s judging you for wearing underwear that you’re not afraid of having ruined, if you know what we mean.

However, when it comes to your everyday discharge, it’s important to pay attention to any changes you may notice, and a lot of women don’t. Depending on what’s causing the change, you might see more or less discharge, or it could be thicker or thinner, or even a different color from normal.

The Solution?

If you notice anything going on down under that seems abnormal for you, make sure to get it checked. Discharge that’s green or gray in color could point to a common infection called bacterial vaginosis, whereas thick and clumpy discharge might point to a yeast infection.

And don’t hesitate to see your doctor if you experience any excessive itching or burning, especially if it’s persistent and keeps getting worse.

You sweat then sit.

We’ve all been there—you hit the gym for an intense workout, then run some errands on your way home and sit around for a bit, all while in those same sweaty clothes. Although you may be planning on taking a shower later, you should still change out of your workout clothes as soon as possible, especially when it comes to your underwear.

Not only can tight, sweat-soaked clothes irritate your skin, but they can also create the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish in and around your lady bits. If your sweaty underwear is rubbing against your skin, it can also lead to some pretty unfortunate chafing.

The Solution?

If you don’t feel like changing your outfit entirely after working out, at least bring a spare pair of underwear to change into before you head home.

When you finally get there, try not to delay when it comes to taking a shower and getting into some fresh clothes.

You sleep in them.

This doesn’t necessarily apply to all women who sleep in underwear, but it does affect a good number of them. Wearing underwear throughout the night doesn’t seem to affect some women at all, but for others, it can actually irritate any existing conditions they have or cause them to flare up.

For example, any woman who is prone to yeast infections might find that sleeping in underwear causes them to develop one, most likely because their underwear is trapping moisture and heat as they sleep.

The Solution?

If you’re comfortable with it, sleep commando! It can help keep your downstairs area cool throughout the night and promote air circulation. If you prefer to wear something, opt for a pair of looser underwear or boxers, if your man has some lying around.

If you don’t want to go without your regular underwear throughout the night, try to make sure you’re wearing a pair that’s made from 100 percent cotton.

You pair white with white.

The initial thought process makes sense—you pick white underwear for white pants because a darker color would show through, right? Surprise! White does the exact same thing! Unless the pants you’re wearing are super thick or opaque, white underwear will definitely show through them, and it will look very, very bright and be easily seen by everyone else.

The same goes for any bright or super dark colors—when you’ve got on white pants, make sure you avoid them at all costs because we can guarantee they’ll show through. It might not be something that affects your health, but it can be an embarrassing situation to deal with when it happens.

The Solution?

Instead of white, opt for underwear in a neutral, earthy type of color. Ideally, you’ll want a neutral that comes as close to your natural skin tone as possible.

That way, it won’t look like there’s any difference between your underwear and your skin.