What are the Side Effects of Compression Stockings or Socks?

What are the Side Effects of Compression Stockings or Socks?

What are the Side Effects of Compression Stockings or Socks?

Rory Donnelly


July 27 2022

Yes, compression stockings or socks have the potential of causing blood circulation issues, skin irritation and skin diseases. However, the side effects occur if you don’t use them correctly.

However, many professionals, including nurses, pilots, flight attendants, and athletes, benefited from the healing effects of compression stockings or socks. People with a risk of blood clots like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pregnant women also swear by the relief compression stockings or socks provide.

So who may not be the right person to wear compression stockings or socks? Or what circumstances can lead to side effects of wearing them? Let’s address all these, highlighting the basics of wearing compression stockings correctly.

How Do Compression Socks Work?

The compression socks come with a unique elastic. It provides increased pressure in the right amount on the limb. This pressure reduces the diameter of veins which results in increased blood flow.

In this way, the blood is efficiently returned to the heart, reducing the chances of a clot. And fresh oxygen-rich blood pumps through your veins, making your body feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Therefore, even healthy people wear them on long flights and do jobs that demand them to stand for long.

What are the Conditions That Compression Stocking or Socks Help Heal?

As mentioned earlier, compression stockingor socks prevents the chances of blood pool and clots in lower limbs. So they are beneficial in dealing with the following conditions:-

  • Shin Splints: The swelling and pain caused by shin splints are challenging to deal with. Compression socks are highly beneficial for reducing the uncomfortable symptoms of this disease by increasing blood circulation and providing support to the veins.
  • Spider Veins & Varicose Veins: Compression stockings or socks suppress the pressure and pain of varicose veins by regulating blood circulation.
  • Lymphedema: You get the right and controlled amount of pressure on your legs through the stretching material of compression socks which massages your legs naturally and helps in the movement of lymphatic fluid.
  • DVT: The DVT blood clots are prevented and reduced by the compressing effects of compression stockings or socks as it promotes healthy blood flow in the legs by applying the correct compression.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes affects your feet badly. It’s common to get ulcers and oedema on either foot. These conditions can be prevented, and some relaxation can be provided to diabetic people's feet by wearing compression stockings or socks.
  • Peripheral Oedema: This condition can't be cured entirely by wearing compression socks. However, the intensity of peripheral oedema can be reduced by the healthy blood flow in the legs and feet due to compression socks.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: The inflammation, muscle damage, and pain caused by plantar fasciitis can be significantly reduced with the help of compression stockings. These socks provide the much-needed correct alignment to the feet during plantar fasciitis.
  • Athlete's Foot: Athletes also enjoy the comfort of compression socks while practising and performing as they fit close to the skin. They also absorb the sweating on your feet.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnant women with hormones flooding their body and expanding uterus also benefit from compression socks in terms of relief from leg cramps and pain.
  • Demanding Professions: Compression stockings or socks provide relaxation from leg pain, discomfort and fatigue to people with no other health issues but are employed in demanding and tiring professions.

Do you need to sit for long hours? Need to stand for hours on a stretch? Or need to walk a lot? Compression stocking or socks can work in all these circumstances.

What are the Side Effects of Wearing Compression Stockings or Socks?

Medical Studies prove that compression stockings and socks are entirely safe to wear, provided you wear them correctly. Also, it's essential to understand that they are not safe for everyone in every situation.

For instance, people with sensitive skin shouldn't wear compression socks. You also need to get socks which fit your legs properly. Otherwise, you are at risk of the following problems:-

  • Compression socks can cut off or hamper your blood circulation instead of improving it if they are not fitted well.
  • You may spot redness and temporary dents where the edge of the socks comes in contact with your skin. Skin irritation and itching are common side effects of wearing compression stockings or socks that don’t fit you properly.

Ill-fitted compression stockings can cause chafes, scrapes, or cuts to your skin, especially if your skin is dry or you are in a dry atmosphere.

How Do You Wear Compression Socks to Avoid all These Side Effects?

Remember these best practices for safely wearing compression stockings or socks to enjoy their full benefit without any side effects.

  • Change your compression socks with the change in your weight to get the right fit.
  • Change the socks daily, so they don’t get stuck to your skin. Also, clean the ones you removed and always wore a clean pair of socks.
  • Keep a check on any changes in your skin, like redness, dryness, or dents.
  • Don’t wear the socks after you’ve roughly worn them 30 times. Otherwise, dispose of them if you notice them losing the stretch.
  • Get a professional's advice for adequately fitting compression socks.
  • The instructions provided by the socks manufacturer and your physician areessential. Follow them diligently.
  • Always hand wash the socks gently and hang them to dry.

How Do You Choose the Right Compression Stocking or Socks?

When choosing the fabric of compression stockings or socks, it’s recommended to prefer copper compression socks because of the natural anti-microbial properties of copper. The copper ions are inserted into the yarn of the copper compression socks on a molecular level.

Copper can also destroy all the bacteria, fungi, and viruses that come in contact. Copper ions also control the inflammation and sweatodour. So why not add these natural healing properties of copper to already beneficial compression socks!

ultimate guide to copper compression socks

What are the Different Types of Compression Stocking or Socks?

These are the 3 primary types of compression stockings or socks fabrics:-

  • Non-Medical Support Hosiery
    You can buy these types of compression socks from any offline or online store in various lengths, fabrics, and patterns. Long copper compression socks are one example of nonmedical support hosiery, which you can choose according to your comfort level.
  • Graduated Compression Socks
    These socks are only available on prescription. They will come with a professional fitting and instructions to use them properly. Graduated compression socks are safe to wear with certain medical conditions and limited periods, for which your doctor will guide you.
  • Anti-Embolism Compression Socks
    People with limited mobility and at higher risk for pulmonary embolisms are only prescribed anti-embolism compression stockings or socks.

    Compression socks have numerous beneficial effects on your feet and overall health. However, a little caution is imperative from your side to ensure that you wear them rightly and you are the right candidate to wear them.

Take a professional’s or doctor’s advice about the kind of socks suitable for you and the recommended duration to wear them to avoid the nasty side effects of wearing compression stockings or socks.

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