If you are donning and doffing compression stockings or pantyhose it is important to take good care of your legs and feet before you put on your support hosiery.
Many women and men wearing support pantyhose or gradient compression stockings may or may not be aware that preparing their legs and feet before putting on hosiery can make the difference between a pleasant or frustrating wearing experience to say the least.
If you have shopped around and compared prices you probably know quite well that compression legwear is not exactly inexpensive, especially if you would like it to last the usually recommended four to six months before it should be replaced.
Well-known brand names of therapeutic compression stockings can be quite expensive with retail prices often pushing well beyond the $100 price point per pair.
Additionally, many compression stocking buyers feel the sting of the cost even more because their insurance carriers and Medicare may not cover the cost of compression legwear.
Consequently a significant number of patients consider purchasing compression garments more of an investment rather than a cheap commodity.
In spite of these truths, you can still save money three ways:
First by doing your homework and shopping around for the best product at the most reasonable price.
Second by handling and treating your compression stockings with care.
For more details on this topic please read our post… Compression Stocking Care Made Easy
Third you can prevent premature wear and tear of your compression hose by keeping your feet, legs and hands smooth and properly groomed.
How to Prepare Your Hands, Legs and Feet for Compression Stockings
For most individuals it is a no-brainer that they should take care of the skin on their face or their hands because both areas are highly visible. When it comes to the legs and feet however, people sometimes give them less than the needed attention, especially if they are new to wearing compression hosiery or hosiery in general for that matter.
Unless you have been prescribed the thicker types of compression stockings with higher compression levels above 40 mmHg, woven from much thicker fibers, you may be surprised how easily one can damage or ruin a perfectly good pair of sheerer compression legwear.
This would likely happen due to holes or runs caused by snags from rough skin on your feet and heels or rough hands and jagged finger or toe nails. To prevent the described scenario and potential financial loss, one might be well advised to invest in a manicure and pedicure regularly or spend time on their own grooming their hands and feet properly.
Make Your Hands Smooth Before Handling Compression Stockings
If you don’t want to deal with preparing your hands you can simply wear gloves when handling compression and support legwear. If you do not like wearing gloves, it is definitely a good idea to keep your hands and fingernails well groomed to help prevent premature wear and tear to your compression stockings.
Depending on how well you generally maintain your hands it may take a little TLC to get the skin and nails smooth enough where they will not snag the fine nylon and Lycra fibers of sheer support hosiery.
Here are some Tips How to Make Your Hands Soft and Smooth for Donning Support Hosiery:
- Clip your fingernails to a reasonable length and file them smooth.
- Exfoliate the skin of your hands to eliminate dead skin cells.
- Moisturize your hands regularly and after each washing to keep the skin soft and to eliminate rough areas. (It is generally a good idea year round to protect the skin against drying out and to shield the hands and other exposed skin areas from the damaging effects of UV sunlight).
- For a special and particularly effective treat moisturize with a thick cream before going to bed and put a pair of gloves or cotton socks over your hands so the cream can really work its magic overnight.
- When doing physical work make sure to protect your hands with gloves against harsh chemicals, hot water and breaking the skin e.g. when doing gardening or yard work.
How To Pamper Your Feet Before Donning and Doffing Compression Stockings
You can Treat Your Feet with similar Care as Your Hands by doing the following:
- Trim and file your toenails and make certain not to leave any sharp or jagged edges.
- Wash your feet daily with a mild and moisturizing soap.
- Exfoliate the skin of your feet while washing them (e.g. with a washcloth, pumice stone, exfoliating cream) to remove dead and flaking skin cells.
- If you have dry skin apply additional moisturizer (petroleum jelly might suffice) to help make your feet soft and smooth. In stubborn cases you may have to give your feet an extended moisturizing treatment to achieve the desired results. This is best done overnight as described earlier on.
- Last not least pay attention to the shoes you are wearing. They should fit not too small and not too big to prevent areas of friction on your feet, caused either by rubbing or from sliding around inside the shoes.
Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Legs Before Wearing Compression Stockings
When wearing compression hosiery smooth legs can definitely make things easier. Smooth legs are not only sexier and more appealing than hairy or stubbly ones but they also make donning and doffing compression garments much less of a chore.
For most women smooth legs and wearing hosiery is just plain common sense because they have been trained in this way for decades since the invention of nylon stockings and pantyhose.
For most guys on the other hand smooth legs are not something that springs to mind naturally, especially if you are not a metrosexual but more the scruffy and rugged type.
As that may be, if you have tried wearing compression stockings or support hose with all that leg hair in place you probably know what I am talking about. As you move around and go about your daily business the hair on your legs acts like a slide allowing your compression stockings to give in to gravity force and migrate south slowly but steadily. It can become somewhat annoying if you find yourself adjusting your compression legwear multiple times throughout each day.
On the other hand, once you decide to rid yourself of the underbrush on your legs and try wearing your support hose without all that hair on your legs for the first time you will likely agree what a vast difference that makes. As an added bonus your legs will not only be much more comfortable and stay cooler under long pants, but they will even look better if you decide to wear shorts during the hotter months of the year.
Here are some Pointers on How to Get Your Legs Smooth:
- The most common way to get smooth legs for women and men is shaving.
- If you want super smooth legs you can also exfoliate them first (removing the dead skin cells from your skin).
- Before you put a razor to your legs make sure to lubricate or condition your skin using shaving cream, conditioner, shampoo or whatever works best for you).
- Showering before shaving helps to open the pores and soften the hair first. For the smoothest shaving results always shave your legs from the bottom up (against the direction the hair grows).
- Avoid drying out the skin of your legs by not using lubricants or conditioners with ingredients like mint, menthol or alcohol.
- Other popular methods to remove leg hair are waxing, hair removal creams or using an epilator.
- Unfortunately none of the above described methods can achieve long lasting or permanent results. Therefore shaving your legs simply becomes part of your regular body maintenance routine.
Final Takeaway: Keeping your hands, legs and feet smooth makes donning and doffing graduated compression stockings or pantyhose a much more pleasant experience. In addition it helps to protect your compression hosiery from damage and premature failure.
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