If you have never worn compression stockings before you will notice that they literally do put the squeeze on you.
First of all make sure you are wearing a compression level that is right for your condition.
You should definitely not be wearing any compression or support hose with a compression rating above 20 mmHg without the guidance of a physician.
It is generally advisable that you consult with your healthcare provider first before you try compression stockings to ensure there are no contraindications.
When you begin wearing compression hose or stockings ease into it. Wear them just for a few hours a day and gradually increase the hours each day to whatever you are comfortable with until you can wear them from the time you get up until you go to bed.
Compression stockings can only do their job if you wear them regularly – all day and every day – because many of the conditions you are wearing them for (e.g. varicose veins or swelling from edema) are ongoing symptoms from one or more conditions that may be present for the rest of your life.
After putting on your compression garment and occasionally throughout the day, check for wrinkles or bunching of the hose to avoid any constriction or tourniquet like effects because the fabric may move throughout the day.
When you are wearing compression stockings you should notice considerable relief from symptoms such as heaviness, aching, tenderness, swelling etc. Before you go to sleep make sure to remove your stockings.
To make your compression stockings last the longest, hand wash them in warm water with a mild detergent and air dry them. Don’t use bleach on them. To make them dry faster you can place them on a towel, roll them up in the towel and squeeze the towel to avoid any damage.
If you are less patient you can machine wash your compression hosiery in a mesh laundry bag to protect them during the wash cycle. You can also dry them in the laundry bag on a low heat or delicate setting.
Over time – usually within 6 months or less compression stockings or hose will wear out depending on the frequency of wearing and how well you are caring for your compression garments.
Generally, a good indicator for replacing your compression garment is when it becomes seemingly easy to put on, which indicates that the fibers have lost their elasticity and tension.