Support Stockings are used to treat a variety of conditions, their many uses range from:
- Reducing the swelling of ankles and feet
- Helping with the treatment of Varicose Veins
- Relieving tired aching legs of those who are on their feet for long periods of time, such as nurses, waitresses, etc.
- Preventing life-threatening blood clots during hospital stays or while traveling
- Helping runners improve performance and helping legs recover after a hard run
No matter what your reason is for using them, proper care will extend the life of your stockings and proper use will insure that your stockings are doing the job they were meant to do.
Tips on getting the most out of your stockings
Put on your support stockings before you get out of bed in the morning. If you're wearing support stockings to control swelling, remember that swelling tends to get worse as the day progresses. Putting your stockings on first thing in the morning, before you even get out of bed, then leaving them on until bedtime is a great way to keep the swelling under control.
Keep your fingernails and toenails trimmed and smooth. Let's face it, support stockings aren't cheap. By keeping your nails trimmed and smooth, you can avoid snagging and ruining your stockings.
Use a Stocking Donner to make getting the support stockings on easier. Sometimes, simply getting the stockings on can be a challenge. There are several donning aids that make getting your stockings on much easier.
Caring for your stockings
Wash your stockings every day. It's a good idea to have 2-3 extra pairs on hand so you'll never have to be without support stockings while one pair is being laundered.
Follow manufacturer's washing instructions. Different brands and types of stockings have different washing instructions, following washing directions can help you get the most out of your stockings.
- JUZO - machine wash and machine dry on low. The fabrics used in their stockings are specially designed to be machine washed and dried. Using the washer and dryer with Juzo stockings will actually prevent the stockings from getting "stretched out", extending the life of the stockings.
- JOBST - machine or hand wash in warm water and hang or lay flat to dry or machine dry on low. Jobst recommends putting the stockings in a garment bag before washing.
- KENDALL/COVIDIEN - machine wash in warm water and machine dry. When machine drying, the drying time shouldn't exceed 15-20 minutes.
- SIGVARIS - machine or hand wash in lukewarm water and hang/lay flat to dry. Sigvaris recommends using a garment bag in the washer and avoiding the use of fabric softener.
When washing your stockings, use the right detergent. Many of the stocking manufacturer's make detergents made specifically for washing support stockings.
- Mediven - Compliance Kit includes a 2 oz bottle of detergent, one pair of donning gloves, as well as a day gel and night cream for legs. Ideal for use on all Mediven compression stockings and socks.
- Jobst - Easy Wash & Wear Kit Kit includes a zippered travel bag, lingerie wash bag, 4 oz washing solution, donning gloves and a brochure with tips to help make the donning process easier.
- Sigvaris - Compression Stocking/Support Sock Washing Solution is a quality washing solution for all your medical compression stocking and sock cleansing needs
Replace your stockings every 3-6 months. Most stockings will last about 3 to 6 months. Once the stockings reach that age, they tend to have lost elasticity and will not be providing the same compression as they did when they were new. A good rule of thumb is when the stockings become easy to put on, it's probably time for a new pair.