When you are wearing compression stockings, itching skin of your legs and feet can be a complex issue with many potential causes and possible ways to resolve the discomfort.
We have explored what could make you itch and what you can do about it.
Are your Compression Stockings or Something Else causing the Itch?
First, you have to determine if your compression stockings are indeed the cause of your itchy legs and/or feet. If you have a general problem with itching and dry skin, compression stockings may not be the root of your problem yet they may still contribute to the problem.
If you notice, for example, that you are dropping skin cells faster than usual and it is causing you to itch, it may not necessarily be a bad thing. Accelerated shedding of skin cells can also be a sign of improved blood circulation in the skin, which can speed up the renewal of the skin cells. Your best option, in this case, may be to use a moisturizing lotion after your bath or shower before you go to bed.
If you do need to apply a lotion during the day when you are wearing your compression hosiery you may want to find a lotion that does not negatively affect the fibers of the compression stockings or hose. Nevertheless, it is best to wear compression stockings without applying lotion to the legs.
Are Compression Stockings bad for your Skin?
Unless you have a proven allergy against the fiber materials of your compression stockings, which is quite rare, there should be no reason why they are bad for your skin. In fact, the microfibers of compression stockings or compression pantyhose generally do an excellent job of wicking moisture away from the skin and to equalize the overall temperature of the skin. For that reason, compression hosiery should be fairly pleasant to wear even during the summer months.
Some manufacturers of more expensive brands of compression stockings are going above and beyond to care for your skin. They are offering compression stockings with “integrated skincare”. Such compression hose or stockings are infused with natural substances and extracts to condition and protect the skin against drying or itching and to make wearing compression stockings the soothing and pleasant experience it is intended to be.
What can You Do to Prevent or Stop Itching when Wearing Compression Stockings?
- Some individuals simply decide not to wear their compression stockings. This is not advisable because it could worsen your existing venous issues to the point of developing more serious problems.
- Make sure your compression stockings fit you. Proper measuring and fitting of compression hose or stockings are essential because it ensures that you get a firm fit and the stockings or pantyhose won’t slide around and pinch or irritate the skin.
- You can apply special creams or gels that help prevent itching of the skin. After you take your compression stockings off before you go to sleep you can apply a moisturizing cream to help rehydrate your skin.
- Many individuals have discovered that spraying your compression stocking legs with a water spray bottle can have a very pleasant and cooling effect during the summer months.
- Some people experience discomfort or skin irritation from the silicon hold up bands of compression stockings. It is most important to ensure that the hold-up band fits properly (not too tight). You may have to adjust it throughout the day as needed. If you have redness of the skin or some type of reaction, you can simply try different types and brands of stockings with different types of hold-up bands to find one that you tolerate well. If you can’t find suitable stockings with a hold-up band you may have to try compression stockings that attach to a garter belt or a stocking type that attaches around your hip or switch to compression pantyhose.
Other Possible Causes for Itchy and Dry Skin:
- Genetic reasons
- Excessive showering and soap that is harsh on the skin
- Medical conditions (e.g. hypothyroidism, acne, psoriasis, eczema)
- Frequent sun exposure
- Poor hygiene
- Deficiencies from poor nutrition
In Conclusion, we would like to provide you with some important skincare tips. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (www.aad.org) moisturizer does not need to be expensive. When you are shopping for products to moisturize and soothe skin look for ingredients such as lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone and glycerin. Lanolin, mineral oil and petrolatum (petroleum jelly) are fairly inexpensive yet extremely effective skincare products to protect you against dry, irritated and sensitive skin problems.