Here are the top complaints, in no particular order, as expressed by individuals wearing compression hosiery and those who refuse to wear them for one or more of these reasons:
- The compression stockings or hose are too difficult to put on and take off
- They are too hot on the legs especially during the summer or in warmer climates
- They are uncomfortable to wear (too tight, pinching etc.)
- They look ugly
- They are too expensive
- The stockings slip and cause wrinkles
- They can make the skin dry and itchy
In the following paragraphs, each of these complaints will be discussed individually including pointers and tips to make wearing compression stockings easier.
Compression Stockings Are Too Difficult To Put On And Take Off
Depending on your physical strength and fitness, putting on or taking off compression hose can be challenging to say the least. Some individuals may also encounter problems performing these tasks due to other conditions such as arthritis, back problems, weight issues, or other circumstances preventing them from easily donning and doffing their stockings.
Do not despair – there are options. One of the most important considerations is that compression garments must be the proper size for your leg(s), which is easy to ensure if your legs are measured correctly by a professional fitter of stockings. For ease in putting on the stockings, donning and doffing aids are available (e.g. a stocking butler) to save you the most strenuous parts of these tasks. If you prefer open toe stockings, a slide can be used to pull them over your foot. Rubber coated gloves are another handy and proven tool to push the stocking material up or down your legs and to massage away any wrinkles. Finally some stockings are also available with zippers for easy on and easy off positioning.
Compression Stockings Are Too Hot During The Summer
Depending on the type of compression stockings you need, you can look for the sheerest compression hosiery available that still offers adequate compression for your condition. Some stockings are also available in open toe versions which may offer some cooling effect. One should not be afraid or embarrassed to wear shorts or skirts with their compression stockings in hot weather to prevent heat buildup under clothing. Remember, not wearing compression stockings at all during the summer, especially if recommended by your physician, could result in a worsening of existing venous or lymphatic conditions.
Compression Hose Are Uncomfortable To Wear
If the compression stockings are too tight or pinch, the first step is to have the measurements of your legs checked in relation to the size of the compression hosiery. If the measurements are correct you may simply have to try different styles from different manufacturers to determine which is the most comfortable for your needs. Companies use a variety of fiber choices and different manufacturing techniques for their stocking products. Often the best or only way to find out which brand and style of compression garment is right for you is to try different makes and models.
Compression Stockings Are Too Ugly
Compression hose often still have a stigma of being ugly “Granny Stockings”. The short and simple truth is that those days are long gone and manufacturers have made great strides in offering fully fashioned product lines of compression stockings. Today compression stockings are available in a wide variety of colors and fabric weights from opaque to sheer styles, making them virtually undetectable compared to top of the line high fashion hosiery.
Compression Stockings Are Too Expensive
Compression stockings can be expensive but they don’t have to be. Like with everything else we purchase, major brand names of compression stockings can be on the expensive side. Nevertheless, spending some time on the Internet can result in finding compression hose “nuggets” of lesser known manufacturers or private label brands that will make you and your wallet breathe much easier. If you are wearing your stockings for medical reasons your insurance plan may cover some or most of the cost. Individuals without insurance may find funding options with the help of social workers, workers’ comp coverage or through veterans affairs and other organizations just to name a few.
Compression Stockings Slip and Cause Wrinkles
Compression garments tend to slip and bunch up if they are not fitted properly. To ensure a proper fit the legs of the individual must be measured precisely to determine the required size of the graduated compression stocking. The measurements must be taken as early as possible after getting up before the legs have a chance to swell. The measurements must be taken in various areas of the leg as recommended by the manufacturers of the compression hosiery. It should be noted that different manufacturers may have specific methods to determine the measurements and sizing parameters of the compression stockings. To ensure maximum comfort, the measurements should be taken by a professional fitter. Stockings that slip and bunch up should never be folded over or rolled up because this will decrease the effectiveness of the stocking and could even act like a tourniquet and restrict proper blood circulation.
A good fit also means the compression garment must have the correct length. For example, knee-high stockings should come up above the calf but end approximately the width of two fingers below the bend of the knee. If slippage of stockings is still a problem after proper fitting, thigh-highs can be held in place with skin friendly glue or with a garter belt. Last but not least, pantyhose style compression hosiery is another option to consider.
Compression Stockings are Itchy and cause Dry Skin
If you have trouble with itchy and dry skin, make sure to moisturize your legs. The best time for this is at night after removing your stockings. Use non greasy lotion and always allow plenty of time for the applied lotion to dry before wearing your compression hosiery. Keeping your legs free of hair may also eliminate a possible source of irritation caused by the tightness of the stockings pulling on the hair.
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