Compression Stockings with Silicone Bands can cause Allergic Reactions


Thigh High Compression and Support Stockings can be Convenient but … they can cause Problems

In addition to compression and support tights, pantyhose, knee high stockings and support socks, there are also several different types of thigh high compression stockings.

Thigh high stockings are a much more pleasant and cooler alternative to waist high pantyhose, especially during the months when temperatures are soaring.


Types of Thigh High Compression Stockings

The most “granny” and rather unattractive looking (chaps style) waist high stockings with graduated compression are designed to stay up with an attachment that fits around the wearer’s waist.

Another type of thigh length support stockings require the individual to wear a suspender belt or garter belt with strap fasteners to keep the stockings from descending to their ankles.

Fashionable Thigh High Support StockingsThe most modern and user friendly type of thigh-high compression stockings feature a more or less fashionable hold up band that is lined with strips or dots of silicone to give the stockings a better hold on the wearer’s thighs and keep them from sliding down.

Convenient as they may be, unfortunately compression stockings with a stay up band also have the potential to trigger allergic reactions because of the silicone material that is used to help the stockings stay in place.

Allergic reactions to the silicone layer of the stay up bands of thigh high compression and support stockings can range from mild redness where the silicone touches the skin to more severe reactions with swelling, itching and burning and even blistery rashes.

Silicone is used as the material of choice for the stay up bands of thigh high stockings because for most people it is the least likely to cause skin irritations or allergic reactions.  Nevertheless, it is always an unpleasant experience if you do have an allergic reaction to the silicone backed bands of these types of stockings.

Allergic reactions can occur from direct skin contact with the silicone used in these thigh high compression stockings.  Many reactions of this type manifest themselves more as an irritation rather than an actual allergic reaction in nature.  Additional testing may be necessary to confirm the actual presence of an allergy.

Allergies resulting from skin contact are in most cases not instantaneous.  Most of the time they appear as a delayed reaction within 24-48 hours after the skin contact has occurred.  They typically present themselves as an eczema-like rash, which is more characteristic of a hypersensitivity than an allergic reaction.


Steps you can take for an Allergic Reaction to Silicone Bands in Compression Stockings

First of all remove the stockings that are causing you to have an allergic reaction as soon as possible and switch to a waist high compression pantyhose if you need the compression support all the way to the top of your thighs.

If you prefer to continue wearing a thigh high compression stocking, try one of the other types of stockings described above that do not use any silicone backing to help them stay up.

If you really prefer wearing stay up type thigh high compression stockings and experienced only a very mild reaction you could also try stockings with silicone backed stay up bands from different manufacturers to see if switching to a different brand will eliminate the irritation or reaction.

If you do have an allergic type reaction, it is best if you seek medical attention from a primary health care provider, a dermatologist or allergy specialist.  With a more severe reaction a prescription strength medication and/or cream may be needed to treat any resulting rash or inflammation.

A very severe allergic reaction, which is also known as anaphylaxis can be life threatening because it can lead to difficulty breathing and shock.  Anybody showing symptoms of anaphylaxis must be treated at a hospital emergency department as soon as possible.


Tolerance Study of the Silicone Bands on Medical Compression Stockings

Interestingly there is currently a clinical study in progress in France under the authority of the French Health Products Safety Agency to evaluate how patients tolerate the silicone bands on medical compression stockings.  The study runs through April of 2013.  If you would like more information regarding this study, please follow the link below:

Clinical Study of Silicone Bands on Compression Stockings



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