Doctors suggest wearing compression stockings for many medical issues. They compress your legs, increasing circulation up and out of your legs and feet. If your doctor recommends that you start wearing compression stockings, it is imperative to know how to put them on and care for them correctly. Here are some essential Dos and Don’ts to remember when using compression stockings.
DO accurately measure your legs before buying compression stockings. If you use the wrong size, you will not get the full therapeutic benefits of wearing compression socks, and they will not be as comfortable to wear. Getting the right size is crucial for the effectiveness and comfort of your compression stockings.
DO clean your compression stockings thoroughly. Check the care instructions as some are machine washable. If so, be sure to place your socks in a mesh laundry bag to better protect them. Be sure to use cold water and a bit of gentle soap or, if you can use a specially formulated washing solution to clean the elastic without stretching it. For drying, roll up your socks in a towel and gently pat excess water out and then hang them up.
DO replace every three to six months. Eventually, the elastic fibres will break down. This is normal with daily use. It is time for a new pair when your compression stockings start to sag, or they are starting to become too easy to put on.
DO put compression stockings on right away in the morning. They help with circulation when you are doing your daily activities. It makes sense to wear them all day if you want to see the full medical benefits. Also, your legs and feet are usually not as swollen in the morning. Putting your compression stockings on in the morning will be a bit easier than doing it later in the day.
DON’T roll-up compression stockings to put them on or take them off. Doing so creates a tight band, which can cut off circulation and cause sores. When removing your compression socks, try your best not to roll or scrunch them up.
DON’T wear them at night unless prescribed by your doctor. Your legs are already in a neutral position that allows for adequate blood flow when you are lying down. Adding graduated compression in this position does enhance circulation, but is unnecessary. Instead, try elevating your legs on pillows. Having your legs above your heart facilitates proper blood flow.
DON’T use chlorine bleach to wash your stockings. Avoid using anything that could destroy your compression socks. That is why you should not use harsh chemicals like chlorine bleach.
DON’T wear oils or lotions on your legs. Oily substances can cause the elastic fibres to break down. Instead, try moisturizing your legs during the evening, after you have removed your compression stockings for the day.
For a pair of your own compression socks or to find out more about how they can help you, stop by Allwell Pharmacy. Both of our locations offer prescription grade stockings and have SIGVARIS certified fitters. Our team specializes in compression stockings and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.