Compression stockings can be of great benefit in preventing, relieving and controlling a variety of symptoms affecting the legs.
That being said, great care must be taken in assessing an individual’s medical history and state of health before compression stockings, compression leggings or any other compression garment can be worn on a regular basis.
This article will shed some light on situations, symptoms and conditions where compression stockings would not be beneficial or could even make things worse for the wearer. In medical terms, conditions that would prevent an individual from wearing compression stockings are called “contraindications”.
Examples of conditions and symptoms where compression stockings should NOT be worn:
- Smokers often have pre-existing problems with blood circulation and blood supply in the legs. They should therefore not wear any constricting garments such as compression stockings or hose that could potentially further restrict an already impaired blood circulation and make things worse.
- Individuals affected by advanced arterial disease (ischemia).
- Individuals suffering from uncontrolled congestive heart failure.
- Diabetics who may be suffering from a variety of skin conditions require special diabetic socks that offer extra cushioning and protection for their legs.
- Patients with wet skin lesions and ulcers (skin necrosis from pressure damage and other factors).
- People with nerve damage in the arms or legs.
- Individuals with vein inflammation caused by bacterial infection (septic thrombophlebitis).
- Phlegmasia coerulea dolens (gangrene as a result of venous thrombosis).
Examples of situations and conditions where strong caution should be applied with wearing compression stockings:
- With the presence of skin allergies or milder skin infections.
- If an allergy to the fabrics and materials of the compression hosiery exists.
- If the individual is immobilized – For example anti-embolism stockings [TED stockings] are applied to patients who are bedridden.
- If the patient has a weeping dermatosis (infected area of skin).
- With decreased sensitivity of the limb(s).
In conclusion, it should be said that whether or not you are experiencing any of the symptoms or conditions described above or even if you feel only minor aches and pains in your legs on a regular basis, it is strongly recommended that you consult with your primary care physician before trying compression stockings.
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