Compression Stocking Care Tips
All information on this site is intended for educational and informational purposes only and is never a substitute for the advice of your physician or medical care provider.
For additional information, please also see our policy page. The following valuable tips are based on first hand experiences of a self-help group for venous illnesses.
- Put your compression stockings on as soon as possible after getting up before your legs have a chance to swell up. If it is very hot where you live you can even take a shower wearing your compression stockings or hose. Always wear your stockings the entire day until you go to bed.
- When donning your compression garments we recommend wearing rubber gloves or rubberized gloves. This ensures that you can push the stockings up the leg equally without damaging them in the process.
- If you have problems putting on your stockings purchase a donning and doffing aid to help you with these strenuous tasks. For example easy slides for open toe socks or a donning butler for compression stockings can make things much easier. A sheer pantyhose as a base layer makes compression stockings slide up your leg with little effort.
- Keep your toe and finger nails meticulously trimmed and filed to prevent any risk of snagging your potentially expensive compression stockings.
- Wear your compression stockings religiously every day and not only occasionally. Don’t even think about going without them during the summer months! Especially during the hottest time of the year your legs need the support more than ever. When you are traveling or on vacation you should always remember to wear your compression stockings.
- Wear your compression stockings also during sports activities. In combination with the movement of the legs the stockings work especially well.
- On hot days it is recommended to rinse your legs with the stockings under cold water repeatedly. If you are at work wet the stockings with your hands. A water spray bottle can be particularly handy and refreshing for this purpose. If possible use only distilled or softened water. The cooling effect from the evaporating water is a very pleasant feeling. Specialty stores also offer cooling sprays, which are however not cheap.
- In hot weather conditions long pants on top of compression stockings can become a torture because heat cannot dissipate easily. Therefore, whenever possible wear shorts or skirts over your stockings.
- You can also try to combine knee high compression stockings with a good support pantyhose.
- If you are trying to cover up a skin colored monster of a compression hose consider wearing a sheer regular or support pantyhose in any color of your liking to achieve a cosmetic improvement of your legs.
- Compression stockings must not slide or pinch in any way. If this is the case or if the stockings do not seem to fit properly in any other way please return immediately to the pharmacy or medical supply store where you purchased the stockings and request to have your measurements checked and insist on receiving different compression stockings. This service should be no charge! Stockings that are custom made to the exact measurements of your legs can generally not be returned. Nevertheless, errors can sometimes happen either during the measuring process or during the production of the stockings.
- Stockings with stay-up bands can slide on hairy legs. In this case the leg hair should be removed by shaving or epilation. Specialty stores also sell various types of glue to prevent sliding down of the stockings. Stay-up bands are not very suitable for thicker and softer thighs because they tend to roll under these conditions. Consequently a support around the waist or if both legs are affected a compression pantyhose are the preferred solutions.
- When you have to get your legs measured for stockings make your appointment as early as possible to ensure that your legs are not swelled up.
- Wash your compression stockings regularly, preferably every night after you take them off, but no less than at least every three days. It is recommended that you have two pair, which you can alternate between wearing and washing. Wash the stockings in warm water with a special detergent as recommended by the manufacturer of the stockings or in the gentle cycle of the washing machine with a mild detergent. Some stockings can only be washed by hand. Do not use any harsh laundry detergent or fabric softener! Do not twist the stockings trying to get the water out and do not put them in the dryer. Dry the compression hosiery on the clothesline or on a rack but not in direct sunlight or on radiators.
- Start caring for your legs at an early age! Even young people often already have beginning venous problems. This is especially true if relatives (parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles or aunts) have vein problems or varicose veins. Do not be reluctant in such cases to start wearing (good) support stockings or support pantyhose as a preventive measure even at a young age of 14 to 16 years. This applies to teenage girls and boys equally. Do not squabble about it if you have to wear compression stockings at an early age. The consequences of not doing it are much worse!