Support Stockings Wear and Care Tips
Medically Edited and Reviewed by Dr. Erin Zinkhan MD, BSBE
Support stockings have been used to take care of venous disorders for a long time. Support stockings reduce swelling in the ankles and feet, relieve tired and aching legs for people who spend most of their day on their feet, and help runners improve their performance by helping their legs recover after a long run. These stockings also help to prevent life-threatening blood clots, which develop while traveling or during hospital stays. Support stockings are an important tool for quality health care.
When using support stockings, it is important to take good care of the stockings so that they will last longer.
Wear your stockings
If you are using support stockings to control swelling, remember that swelling usually gets worse as the day progresses. Therefore, you will decrease swelling more by putting the stockings on first thing in the morning. Wearing the stockings all day long will help the swelling to stay under control throughout the day.
The best way to avoid ruining your stockings is by making sure they do not get snagged on your own fingernails. Keep your nails smooth and trimmed so that you don't have to keep replacing stockings.
When you are putting on your stockings, it is recommended that you use a stocking donner to avoid accidentally ripping or ruining the stockings. There are many donning aids, which you can use to don your stockings more easily, available online.
Support stockings typically last between 3 and 6 months. After this time, they start to lose their elasticity and no longer provide the right amount of compression. Remember, if the stockings suddenly become very easy to put on, it's probably time for you to throw them out and buy a new pair.
Caring for your stockings
Proper care is important if you want your stockings to last 3-6 months. Support stockings are often worn throughout the day, so it's better to have a few extra pairs available so that if one stocking loses its elasticity or is dirty, you can use a backup pair.
It is important to know the manufacturer's washing and care instructions for the stockings. Each brand will give specific washing instructions and it is essential that you know the instructions before you place them in the wash.
It is also important that you use the right stocking detergent for cleaning your support stockings. Specific chemicals are often added to laundry detergents to give certain benefits to the wash. These chemicals often are labeled as extra strength, color care, or gentle wash. Make sure that the detergent you use to wash your support stockings is the right one for your specific stockings.
The durability of your stockings often depends on the care that you provide them and upon you following the manufacturer's instructions. Take good care of them, and your stockings will support you for several months.