Most people can benefit from the all- day, every day over the counter graduated compression, also known as 15-20mmHg stockings. These can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. 20-30mmHg or higher is considered medical grade compression and generally recommended or prescribed by your doctor. The mmHg stands for millimetre of mercury, which is the way that the pressure in each compression sock is measured.
With normal daily wear and care, we recommend replacing your garment every four-six months. Should your garment show signs of excessive wear or the fit is looser or tighter than when you originally purchased it, we recommend consulting with your fitter about being re-measured or replacing your garment sooner.
It is perfectly safe to use lotions and creams with a compression garment. This is especially important for people with lymphedema since daily skin care and moisturizer is so important. Lotions and ointments breakdown garments made from natural rubber. Be sure skin is completely dry prior to putting on garment or use lotion at nighttime.
The quick answer is no, elastic garments are not normally worn at night while sleeping because they might bunch up and cause a tourniquet. However, you should consult your physician and follow their recommendations. Night garments are available if needed.
In general, graduated compression stockings should only be worn during the day while you are upright and mobile and should be taken off and washed at night. Consult your physician or fitter for specific instructions. If you need to wear your garment every day, you may want to consider purchasing a second pair so you will always have one pair to wear while the other is being washed.
Most brands offer men's and women's compression separately, with the difference being the size of the footbed of the stocking. In some cases, certain men’s products may offer wider calf proportions vs a women’s product having smaller calf proportions. Of course the sheerness of the fabric and colours also play a role in determining whether the stocking is made for men or women. Although, as long as your measurements fall within a specific product's sizing guideline, gender does not matter. If you are unsure, there are always many unisex products available.
Wearing loose fitting socks over the compression stocking is not necessary, but a personal preference. However, wearing loose fitting socks over top of stockings will cut back friction, thus the compression garment may last longer in the heel and toes. It may also keep the feet more warm or add more cushion.
Swimming in salt water or fresh water will not hurt the garment, however, chlorine will damage the compression in the garment.
Compression stockings sometimes roll if they are too tight, have fitter confirm sizing. They may also roll down depending on the shape of your leg and the integrity of your skin, ask a fitter about wearing a compression stocking with a silicone band/grip top. Additionally try using a skin/garment adhesive. These adhesives are non-irritating or staining to skin or clothing and simply wash off with water. Garment Adhesives will hold up support and surgical stockings, anti-embolism stockings, athletic taping, eyeglasses, men's and women's socks, knee-high socks, nylons, pantyhose, shoulder straps, wigs, toupees, theatrical make up or devices, and anything else of a similar nature.
Compression garments stretch a little when worn. They go back to the original size and shape when washed/dried, this is normal. Be sure never to put your compression garment in the dryer. Always air dry.
Anyone who sits or stands for long periods of time, pregnant women, frequent travelers, nurses and pretty much everyone else can benefit from wearing compression socks. According to Dr. Bo Johnson from the Rocky Mountain Vein Clinic, a sedentary person can benefit from graduated compression socks because they enhance the natural pumping mechanism in their legs and encourage blood to flow back to their heart and lungs. Active people such as long distance runners, flight attendants as well as those in the service industry can also benefit from graduated compression socks because they improve the overall circulation in their legs
Anti-Embolism Stockings (TED): Also known as TEDS®. These stockings are intended for non-ambulatory patients or those confined to a bed or wheel chair. It is common in recovery rooms and post-surgery for physicians to prescribe these stockings for patients to prevent coagulation (thrombosis) and stimulate blood flow. They are white and a thicker knit with an opening at the toes. Anti-embolism stockings have a universal compression throughout ranging from 8-18mmHg.
Graduated Compression Stockings: These stockings are medically therapeutic and designed for people who are mobile. They work with a graduated effect, providing 100% compression at the most distal point, being the ankle and decreasing up the leg. The compression is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). Graduated compression stockings are manufactured in compression ranges: 15-20mmHg, 20-30mmHg, 30-40mmHg, 40-50mmHg, and 50+mmHg. Graduated compression stockings coincide with specific medical indications. Stockings below 20mmHg are available over-the-counter (OTC) and compression levels above 20mmHg require a medical prescription.
EdemaWear: EdemaWear® are the new way to comfortably enhance the lymphatic function, leading to a decrease in painful inflammation at the skin level. Unlike traditional non-compressive stockinette's (T.E.DS). EdemaWear® stockinette's provide light 15mm-20mmHg external compression similar to a tubular elastic bandage or 6mmHg. By wearing EdemaWear® will over time, gently press into the skin creating a ‘cornrow’ furrow. The areas of non-compressed skin between the furrows act as a zero pressure zone, which enhances lymphatic drainage from the compressed tissue in the furrows. Easy to apply and comfortable to wear, the latex-free EdemaWear® stockinette's help ‘melt’ away swelling in the extremities. May be worn alone or under compression bandages or wraps.