Taking Care of your Graduated Stockings
Buying and caring for you graduated compression stocking (GCS)
When buying your GCS your leg should be carefully measured and sized by the person selling you the stocking. Purchasing the correct size and personalized fit, is extremely important for your comfort and the stocking`s effectiveness.
Proper care of your stocking is also important for its optimum effectiveness and its life expectancy. Below are some suggestions in caring for your GCS:
Compression Stocking Do`s
Do wash your compression stocking every day, as when you wear your stockings, they stretch to fit your legs.
Washing helps return them to their original shape, extending their usability over time.
Do wash your compression stockings properly.
Check the care instructions for each pair of compression stockings you own; some are washable in your machine’s gentle setting. If so, place your stockings in a mesh laundry bag to help protect them. To wash your compression stockings use cold water and a bit of gentle soap. If you can, use a specially formulated washing solution for your compression socks – this will clean the elastic without causing damage. To dry, roll up your socks in a towel and pat out all the excess water, then hang them up.
Do use specialized gloves purchased at your stocking supplier to put on your compression stocking. This special glove provides added grip and makes it much easier to put on.
Do put compression stockings on first thing in the morning.
Your legs and feet are generally less swollen in the morning, so it`s easier putting on your compression stockings immediately after you wake compared if you did it later in the day.
Do replace the stocking approximately every 6 months because eventually the elastic fibers will break down.
This is normal, especially with daily use. How can you tell when it’s time for a new pair? One observation is that your compression stockings start to sag.
Compression Stocking Don’ts
Don`t roll up your compression stockings to put them on or take them off.
Rolling creates a tight band, which cuts off circulation and can cause sores.
Don`t wear them at night.
Unless your doctor specifically prescribes it, it’s best to avoid wearing compression stockings at night. You can try elevating your legs on a couple of firm pillows instead. By having your legs above your heart level, you are facilitating regular blood flow.
Don`t use any washing products containing chlorine to clean your stockings, as chlorine can ruin the stocking.
Don`t wring out compression socks to dry them.
Wringing or scrubbing, can damage your stockings, treat them gently to get the most out of them. To get the excess water out of your compression stockings, roll into a ball them and squeeze gently.
Don`t modify your compression stockings. Refrain from cutting off any part of your compression stockings.
Compression stockings have graduated compression, meaning the compression is strongest at the ankle and gets lighter as it goes up the calf. Cutting off the foot could cause them to roll up and become uncomfortable to wear and lose their effectiveness. If your stockings seem too tight around the toes, you may want to consider a product such as open toe compression stockings.
Don`t wear lotions, creams or oils. Oily substances can break down the elastic fibers.
Try moisturizing your legs in the evening, after you’ve removed your compression stockings for the day.