For some people, fashion isn’t about following trends and showing off style. It’s about finding clothing that can help improve a health condition.
Millions of Americans deal with medical problems on a daily basis. In addition to using medication and medical interventions, many adjust their wardrobe to manage symptoms and make life more comfortable. Others wear garments specifically to prevent injury from occurring in the first place.
Below are just a few examples of fashion and health working together to make lives better.
Lymphedema Compression Garments
Some conditions, such as certain types of cancer, can cause lymphedema. This is a condition when lymphatic system blockage causes swelling in the feet or arms. It’s fairly common and, unfortunately, there’s no cure. The best a person can do is manage the condition with exercise, massage, and compression.
Specialized lymphedema compression socks help ease symptoms but look just like regular socks and hosiery. Hidden in the design is gradient compression that begins at the ankles and gradually eases as you move upward to reduce swelling. No one would ever know that you’re wearing a garment that’s made to control lymphedema.
Shoes With Support
It can be argued that no other piece of clothing or accessory affects health as much as shoes. When you fail to choose shoes that fit your lifestyle and needs, you usually suffer the consequences. But the repercussions can go much further than a few blisters.
Wearing shoes that lack adequate support or are ill fitting can actually cause serious injury. They can also exasperate existing medical problems. Achilles tendinitis is one example. People with Achilles tendinitis experience heel pain and tenderness. Serious cases can also cause tears in the tendon. This can be prevented by wearing open-back shoes and insoles that keep the heel bone aligned.
Diabetics can also experience foot ulcerations and neuropathy. It’s a type of nerve pain that’s felt in the extremities, particularly the feet. Doctors often recommend shoes with a custom insole, removable footbed, a toe box with extra depth and seamless construction. A number of designers like Orthofeet create attractive shoes specifically for diabetics that need these unique features.
For some women, standard brassieres can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Women with a full bust have to deal with straps that dig into the shoulders and rub the skin raw. Bras that lack support can also damage ligaments and cause skin chaffing. Of course, they also do nothing to help alleviate back pain.
Specially-made bras that have wide straps and structure are often needed to provide necessary support. The material also makes a difference. It needs to have a certain amount of stretch while still offering hold. Power mesh has become a popular material for this purpose.
Medical Alert Bracelets
This is one accessory that could actually save your life if you have a medical condition. Years ago medical alert bracelets were standard issue stainless steel chains with a silver plate that denoted a condition. Today, there are a lot more options to choose from.
You can opt for leather, beaded or silicon bands in addition to metal chains. Instead of a plate you can also add a charm that alerts emergency responders. Clearly, people have asked for medical alert bracelets that show off personal style and jewelry makers have delivered.
If you have a medical condition it’s important to discuss your options with your doctor. They may be able to steer you in the direction of designers and companies that make garments and accessories for your medical condition. Feeling comfortable and confident with your fashion choices is important, but your health always has to come first.