Compression Stockings for Varicose Veins and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – Auckland NZ

Compression stockings for varicose veins and compressions stockings for deep vein thrombosis, as the name suggests are designed to compress the legs. The pressure that they apply improves blood flow from your legs to your heart. Essentially, they improve the drainage of the legs. Compression stockings NZ can be used to improve the symptoms of varicose veins and to prevent and/or manage deep vein thrombosis.

Below we discuss the benefits of wearing compression socks and how they work. We also cover the instructions for wearing them after treatment.

How Do Compression Stockings/Socks Work?

Compression stockings cover your feet/ankles and legs. At Palm Clinic we supply below knee compression as these are far better tolerated than thigh high compression.

The pressure that they apply to the legs works to narrow the size of the deep veins which helps to improve blood flow (much like narrowing the tip of a hose increases flow). This increases return of blood from the legs up to the heart improving symptoms of varicose veins (aching, heaviness and swelling) and reducing the chance of deep vein thrombosis.

When wearing compression stockings, please check your legs daily for signs of skin irritation or redness. The presence of skin irritation may indicate that your stockings don’t fit properly, have been put on incorrectly or an allergy to the stockings. In this case, please remove the stocking and contact Palm Clinic.

The Benefits of Wearing Compression Stockings:

Compression stockings/ socks can:

  • Improve the circulation (blood flow) in your legs
  • Give additional support to veins to improve chronic venous insufficiency
  • Improve foot/ankle/leg swelling
  • Help to prevent the complications of venous disease including venous ulcers, venous eczema, lipodermatosclerosis, atrophie blanche
  • Prevent superficial thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism
  • Improve the lymphatic system
  • Lessen the symptoms of varicose veins by improving blood flow
  • Prevent post-thrombotic syndrome

Instructions for Wearing Compression Socks

Varicose Veins – Post Treatment

You must wear the Class 2 compression stocking 24 hours a day, including sleeping and showering for the first THREE DAYS after treatment. From DAY FOUR onwards you can remove the stocking for sleeping and showering but must wear them during the daytime until two weeks from the first day of treatment.

Spider Veins – Post Treatment

The stocking is a lighter Class 1 compression and only needs to be worn for THREE DAYS for 24 hours a day, then for FOUR DAYS just during the daytime.

Types of Stocking

Compression stockings come in different sizes and levels of compression to suit the need and the leg size. Occasionally, a leg will not be suitable for an ‘off the rack’ stocking and we will refer you to have a stocking custom fitted. In most cases though, we will measure your calf and ankle circumference to choose the appropriate stocking.

Our compression stockings have ‘graduated pressure’ meaning the pressure is highest at the foot and ankle and gets slightly less as they go up the leg. This creates a pressure gradient which helps the venous circulation return fluid back up the leg.

When Should I Not Wear Compression Stockings?

Your Palm Clinic Doctor will assess your suitability for compression stockings.

We may recommend either a lower grade of compression, or to not wear them at all if:

  • You have peripheral artery disease (poor circulation to the feet)
  • You have severe peripheral neuropathy (nerve impairment)
  • An allergy to the stocking material
  • Significant skin issues including cellulitis, weeping dermatitis, gangrene or a skin graft

Showering in Compression Stockings

Ideally, do not take the stockings off for the first THREE DAYS, so try to wear them while showering. Treat them like a second skin. It is true that the hosiery is not easy to dry. Try using a fresh towel on the hosiery, and drying the thicker parts with a hair dryer. Be careful in the shower – water, soap and hosiery can be very slippery.

How To Put Compression Stockings On

Unlike normal socks, do not bunch your compression socks up before putting them on. The compression is too high to allow you to pull them up this way.

If your socks are ‘toeless’ then putting a plastic bag or similar over the top of your toes before sliding the compression socks up will make the process easier.

Wearing plastic gloves, or dishwashing gloves makes it much easier to grip the stocking material.

Place the stocking over your foot and pull them back to above your heel bit by bit. Once you have pulled the stocking above your heel, then work it bit by bit over the ankle and up to the upper calf. They only need to cover your upper calf, do not attempt to have them cover the knee. The upper end of the stocking should come to the narrow part of your upper calf below the knee, before the knee widens.

Smooth out any wrinkles in the stocking as any bunching can irritate the skin.

Either stocking can go on either leg: there is no need to choose a left or right.

Some Compression Stocking Tips

  • Ideally wear them in the shower for the first three days, but if you are concerned about slipping in the shower or do not have time to dry them, it is okay to remove them for showering.
  • If you have removed them, ensure you dry your legs as much as possible before replacing the stockings, otherwise they will be harder to pull on.
  • Check your skin for signs of irritation and ensure there are no wrinkles in the stocking in this area (often around the ankle or at the knee) that could be causing this.
  • If you have longer nails, either clip them or wear gloves to avoid causing ladders in the stockings.
  • If your stockings feel too long for your leg, don’t roll them down at the top. This will have a tourniquet effect where they are rolled. Instead, try to pull them down a little lower and ‘ping’ them to spread the stocking without causing wrinkles. If you are having trouble, call Palm Clinic for advice.
  • Avoid applying any oil based ointments to your skin under the stockings as these will damage the elastic in the stocking.

Care of Compression Stockings

For the first three days while wearing the stockings in the shower you can wash them like a second skin. Use shower gel and make sure to rinse them well while you are wearing them. You can dry them either with a hair dryer or a warm towel after showering.

From day four onwards you can hand wash them. They can dry over the top of a towel on the heated towel rail. Do not tumble dry.

Can Compression Stockings Cause Issues?

Very rarely compression stockings can cause issues. If you notice any of the below, remove your stocking and call Palm Clinic:

  • Altered sensation including numbness, pins and needles, or a pressure pain in your feet or legs
  • Altered colour or temperature: if your foot or leg become pale, cool or other change of colour
    A rash (which may indicate an allergy to the stocking)
  • Any compromise of skin under the stocking (blisters, erosions to the skin, ulcer)

Vein care for confidence and comfort at every step.

Consulatation at Palm Clinic with Dr Sam DunnConsulatation at Palm Clinic with Dr Sam Dunn

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