While thongs are a useful wardrobe item for tight-fitting dresses or workout pants, your G-strings might be doing you more harm than good.
Dermatologist Dr. Doris Day explains to Glamour that thongs don't provide the protective barrier between your skin and the friction-frenzy of tight clothing like yoga pants and bandage dresses — so all the sweat, moisture and bacteria gets trapped on your skin itself, rather than the cloth of your underwear, which can leave you with a pimply backside. To avoid this, Day advises wearing cotton briefs during workouts — it's worth the VPL!
Thongs can also be their own source of friction, causing irritation, skin sensitivity and even skin tags. To avoid this, doctors recommend taking a break from the barely-there underwear and switching to regular underwear for a few weeks to let skin heal. If skin tags are an issue, you'll probably need to put aside thongs for good, but if you're just dealing with irritation, once you've healed, switch all your thongs to cotton, which is less irritating than other materials, and go up a size to ensure there's no rubbing down there.
Even scarier than butt acne and irritated skin is the connection between thongs, UTIs and yeast infections. If you're prone to UTIs and bacterial infections, thongs can exacerbate these conditions — especially if you're already under the weather, because your immune system is lowered and less able to fight incoming infections. Wearing thongs while on your period can also increase the likelihood of getting a UTI or bacterial infection because the pH in your vagina is raised, making it easier for bacteria to grow.
If you're a die-hard tampon user, there's also the possibility that your tampon string could rub against your backside and bring the bacteria from that area forward into your vaginal area, a scenario that's especially likely if you don't change your tampons frequently.
If you're a ride-or-die thong user, don't quit the habit. Just be sure to always wear cotton underwear, stay on top of your health, and maybe swap to briefs or bikinis if you know you're going to be hitting the gym.
Article written by: Emily Keyes. Follow her here.