Your Ill-Fitting Bra Could Be Causing These Health Issues

WellnessYour Ill-Fitting Bra Could Be Causing These Health Issues

Your Ill-Fitting Bra Could Be Causing These Health Issues

bra fitting

Most women would likely agree that bras aren’t always their favorite item to wear every day; however, if you find yourself struggling to make it through the day without the urge to get home and rip it off, then you’re likely wearing the wrong size. Did you know that the average woman’s bra size will change on average 6 times throughout her life? Because of this, it’s important to get re-fitted every so often to find the proper everyday bra that fits your needs. Constantly buying the same size repeatedly hoping that it will fit this time around is a bad idea.

But wearing an ill-fitting bra over a long period of time isn’t just uncomfortable, it can also lead to negative health effects on your body. Many women are surprised to learn that the annoying (yet common) health issues they are experiencing can be relieved by simply getting properly fitted. And bras that are either too large or too tight can cause health issues equally.

It’s important that you take care of your health—in fact, it should be your top priority. If you’re experiencing any of the common health issues below, take a closer look at the possible culprits hiding in your dresser drawer.


  • Acne: When your bra fits snugly, it can rub up against your skin throughout the day causing acne to develop from the heat and sweat that is being held in. This is also referred to as acne mechania.
  • Infection: Another potential skin issue created by tight bras occurs because those bras don’t allow room for your skin to breath. This can cause fungus and other bacteria to grow, leading to skin infections and rashes. This can be particularly problematic (and more common than you think) for those with contact dermatitis.
  • Scarring: Exposed underwire can dig into your skin over time, causing cuts and open sores. If left untreated, they can reach the point where scars begin to form.
  • Bruising: Bra straps that dig into your skin can cause bruising on your shoulders. Bruising suggests that the muscles in this area are not receiving sufficient blood supply.


neck pain from ill-fitting bra

Incorrect sizing or poor construction can exacerbate body pain.

  • Pain: Ill-fitting bras do not give your breasts the proper support that they need. Large breasts can weight up to 5lbs each, and ill-fitting bras won’t be able to support that weight. Incorrect sizing or poor construction can exacerbate chronic back, neck, or shoulder pain.
  • Shoulder pain: Tight straps that dig in can cause pain on the shoulders as well as pinched nerves. Eventually, this can lead to decreased motion in your rotator cuff.
  • Back pain: Slouching your shoulders to alleviate the pain can cause pressure on your back, leading to pain in that area as well. This is most common in women with larger breast sizes.
  • Neck pain: This pain can extend up through your neck. As your muscles work harder to support other areas of your body, they may neglect support to your neck which can cause slight to severe pain.
  • Headaches: If you’re not getting the proper support for your breasts from your bra, your muscles have to work harder to support the weight on your chest. This can cause a strain on your muscles that can turn into headaches.
  • Tenderness: Over-restricting your breasts from their natural movement can reduce your lymphatic system drainage which can lead to tenderness. Additionally, it’s important for your lymph nodes to function properly as they help to support a healthy immune system.


  • Slouching: If your muscles feel too much tension placed on them from the weight of your breasts, you’ll slouch in an effort to relieve some of that tension.
  • Your look! Of course, when your bra doesn’t fit well, it can directly affect your overall look. Unsightly bulging, sagging, cup overflow, or gaping can cause the perfect outfit you’ve picked out to look a little less perfect (and you to feel more self-conscious).

Find the Right Fit

The most important and simplest way of correcting these issues is to get properly fitted. Wearing the correct size bra will alleviate many of these symptoms quickly. And it’s becoming even easier to find the right size. Innovative bra companies like ThirdLove provide online services to help you find the right size after taking a simple quiz. They also have specialists available to virtually answer any further questions or discuss common fit issues you’re experiencing and the best ways to solve them.

Taking the time once a year to make sure that you’re wearing the correct size bra will lead you down a road of lifelong comfort. It’s also important to wash your bra on a regular basis as well as properly store and care for it. Keeping your bra in good health will do the same for you.

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