Excerpts from “Why You Should Never, Ever [Wear] A Wet Bathing Suit: Your body will thank you.”
Updated Aug 11, 2016
by Carla Herreria
Lounging in wet swimwear isn’t as glamorous as the Kardashians make it out to be. Wet swimsuits can cause problems ranging from yeast infections to UTIs.
“Yeast and bacteria really thrive in moist, dark places, like a wet bathing suit or wet workout clothes,” says Alyssa Dweck, an assistant clinical professor and OB/GYN at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Women with weakened immune systems, such as those who have diabetes or who take certain medications are more likely to be affected, but it’s good advice for anyone. So, here’s a much-needed wake up call to motivate you. Below are a few reasons to never, ever [wear] a wet swimsuit:
1. It’s the perfect combo for bacteria.
Let’s face it: The inside of a wet swimsuit is both warm and moist, so it’s basically a breeding ground for bacteria.
When in the water, swimsuit material tends to absorb the various chemicals and bacteria that exist in pools or the ocean. Your private parts are cradled inside of your suit, along with all of those gross substances. This can throw off the balance of healthy bacteria in the vagina or introduce harmful bacteria into the urethra, leading to a number of maladies, including vaginitis and urinary tract infections.
2. It can lead to yeast infections.
Since yeast thrives in warm and wet environments, wet bathing suit bottoms can cause yeast infections in women, especially those who suffer from recurring yeast infections. The bacteria that festers in wet bathing suits can cause an overgrowth of yeast cells in the vagina or vulva, according to University Hospitals. This can lead to some pretty uncomfortable symptoms, including burning, soreness and clumpy discharge.
3. It may result in an itchy rash.
You’ve heard of athlete’s foot, right? Well, sitting in a wet swimsuit can cause a very similar infection around your genitals known as “jock itch.”
If you’re wearing a wet suit and happen to come in contact with a type of mold-like fungi known as dermatophytes, it can spread to the skin of your genitals, inner thighs and butt, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Mayo Clinic. This growth leads to red, itchy rashes that may grow in the shape of a ring.
“It’s very similar to a yeast infection in the vagina because they’re both caused by fungus, although it is a slightly different strain of fungus,” Dweck said.
Even if there is no fungal infection involved, people with sensitive skin may experience skin irritation from wearing wet material. “Some women just get irritation from constant moisture,” Dweck said.
Now that the ugly facts are out there, it’s time to take charge. Your body will thank you for it.