The first few times you wear your compression garment you will notice the squeeze. It is OK to begin wearing your stockings gradually. Try wearing them for just a few hours the first day and then increase the number of hours each day until you can wear them comfortably throughout the day while you are up and about. Check your stockings periodically to smooth out any wrinkles as the fabric may move during the day. Remove your stockings before going to bed. If you find that compression stockings are difficult to put on, please see Donning Suggestions or contact our professionals about Donning Aids.
It is important to wear your compression garments everyday. Compression stockings and sleeves manage an on-going problem. When you remove your compression garment the condition responsible for your symptoms is still there. Failure to wear your stockings or lymphedema garment may cause your condition to become more severe.
Hand or machine-wash with warm water and mild soap or detergent, or specialized washing solution. No chlorine bleach. Warm water rinse. Hang or lay flat to air-dry. May dry in a dryer on low heat or delicate setting. Placing your stockings in a mesh laundry bag will help protect them during the wash cycle.
Replacing your garment
The elastic fibers of your compression garment stockings will break down with wear. Proper care will increase the “life” span of your stockings, but you will need to replace your stockings or sleeve at about every 3-6 months depending on how often you are wearing and how you are caring for your garment. As a general rule, if your garment becomes easy to put on, it probably needs to be replaced.
Properly fitting compression stockings and arm sleeves should feel snug at first. It may take a few days to adjust to the pressure. Before you put on your stockings or arm sleeve review the following Helpful Hints:
- Compression garments are easier to put on when you first get out of bed, before swelling occurs.
- Remove rings and jewelry that could damage your garment
- Use gloves (rubber or vinyl) to help position the garment on your leg
- Make sure your skin is dry before putting on your hosiery
- Avoid rolling or bunching the fabric as this will create too much pressure in specific areas
- Apply a thin layer of cornstarch or powder to help the stocking (or sleeve) slide smoothly over your skin
- Apply moisturizer to your legs (or arm) in the evening – not just before putting on your garment
*Info courtesy of JOBST®