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Compression Stockings – Everything You Need to Know

An estimated 30% of Americans suffer from varicose veins. These veins can be enlarged and swollen and are often blue or dark purple in color. They can be found in various body parts, but present predominantly in the legs.
Varicose veins occur when blood collects behind the small valves in the veins instead of flowing back to the heart.
In many cases, varicose veins are a cosmetic problem, however, if left untreated, they can result in serious discomfort, including:

  • Skin discoloration
  • Pain and swelling
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Blood clots

Improving circulation is key to relieving the discomfort that can come with varicose veins, and for that, you can turn to compression stockings.


What are compression stockings?

Compression stockings are a type of hosiery designed to help improve blood flow in the legs. They do this by providing gentle compression to the legs, which helps to squeeze the veins and push blood upward toward the heart. This can be particularly beneficial for people who suffer from varicose veins or other conditions that can cause poor circulation in the legs.
They are typically made from a stretchy material, such as nylon or spandex, and they come in a variety of compressions and styles, including knee-high, thigh-high, and pantyhose.


How do I choose?

With so many different types of compression stockings available, it can be difficult to know which ones are right for you. Here are some tips to help you choose the best compression stockings for your varicose veins.

  1. Consult with a doctor: The first step in choosing the right compression stockings is to consult with a doctor or other medical professional. They can help you determine the level of compression that you need and ensure they are the right choice for you.
  2. Look for the right level of compression: Compression stockings are available in different levels of compression, measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury). A mild compression of 8-15 mmHg is appropriate for people with mild varicose veins, while a moderate compression of 15-20 mmHg is suitable for those with moderate varicose veins. If you have severe varicose veins, you may need a stronger compression of 30-40 mmHg.
  3. Consider your daily activities: If you spend most of your day sitting or standing, you may want to choose knee-high stockings. On the other hand, if you are more active and do a lot of walking, thigh-high stockings may be a better choice.
  4. Look for quality material: Compression stockings are typically made from a stretchy material, such as nylon or spandex. The material should be breathable and soft, and it should not irritate the skin.
  5. Be consistent: Compression stockings are most effective when worn consistently throughout the day. So, make sure you choose stockings that you will be comfortable wearing for extended periods of time.


Compression stockings can be a valuable tool for managing varicose veins, but it’s important to choose the right ones for your needs. By consulting with a doctor, determining the appropriate level of compression, and selecting a style and material that is comfortable for you, you can help ensure that your compression stockings are as effective as possible. Remember to wear them consistently throughout the day for the best results.


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