Specially fitted compression stockings are tight at the feet with a gradually looser fit on the leg. Because there are different types, it's best to use the kind that your doctor recommends and that will work best for you.
Help improve blood flow.
Help keep fluid from pooling in the legs.
May help prevent blood clots from forming in deep leg veins.
Help relieve symptoms and prevent problems caused by things like varicose veins, skin ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis.
Will help the most if you wear them every day while you're awake, especially while you're on your feet.
How do you use compression stockings?
Compression stockings can be a part of your daily routine. If they fit right, they should be snug but comfortable.
It's best to wear them all the time, unless you are bathing or sleeping. Plan on replacing your stockings every 4 to 6 months.
At first, putting on a pair of compression stockings can be tricky. But with some practice, you'll find what works for you. Here are some tips:
Before you put them on
Hand wash new stockings after you buy them. It will make them more flexible and easier to put on. Consider buying a second pair, if you can afford it. That way, you'll have a clean pair to wear while you wash the other.
Put a dressing on any open wound before putting on the compression stockings.
Keep your stockings by your bed, so you can put them on when you first get up.
To put them on
Do it early in the morning, when you have the least swelling in your legs.
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.