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Looking good can be dangerous for your health

March 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A recent study shows that 70 percent of women who wore poorly fitting shoes ended up with foot problems like bunions and hammer toes. But shoes aren't the only things in your closet that can hurt you. Health specialist Denise Dador teamed up with Consumer Reports to reveal fashions women wear at their own risk. Lady Gaga wears some crazy outfits in her "Bad Romance" video. But unless you want to end up on crutches like she is in another video, Consumer Reports ShopSmart says beware of certain looks that can actually hurt your health.

"Skinny jeans may still be in style, but the pain they can cause is not something anyone would want," said Dr. Orly Avitzur, Consumer Reports medical adviser. "Overly constrictive pants can cause bladder infections or even blood clots in your legs."

So skip skinny and go for slim jeans instead.

Another fashion culprit is flat, floppy footwear.

"Most flip-flops lack support and stability," said Dr. Avitzur. "That can lead to inflammation and heel pain."

Closed-heeled shoes have a lot more support and are better for your feet. It can help to look for the American Podiatric Medical Association's seal of acceptance.

And what about oversized handbags? You know the ones in which you can stash your laptop, book, makeup, water bottle, and whatever.

"Carrying a heavy purse can take a huge toll on your back, neck, and shoulders," said Dr. Avitzur. "I see a lot of patients who are in real pain because of carrying a lot of heavy weight in their purse."

You want to make a point of lightening the load, and use a clutch or a small bag with a wide strap. After all, you don't want to become the latest victim of high style to land on YouTube for all the world to see.

Another risky fashion choice: big, dangling earrings. They can damage your earlobe, so don't wear heavy earrings for long periods of time. And it's a good idea to remove them when you're on the phone, styling your hair, or close to a small child who can grab them.