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 Common problems with compression stockings:  

Hands are slipping on the stocking when trying to pull it on:

Suggestions: Use grip gloves to increase friction against the stocking. For thigh high or panty hose you may try ALPS fitting lotion, a silicone lubricant that makse the stockings slide easier against the leg.

I can't get the stocking past the heel

This is the most common problem with putting on compression stockings. Most of the devices address this problem We have found the Doff N Donner combined with Grip gloves and the Easy pad to be the most effective in solving the problem of getting past the heel.  

I can't get the heel in the right place. The stocking gets twisted

Grip gloves will give you more control to move the fabric to adjust the heel. If it is difficult to reach under your foot you can use a Juzo Easy Pad to rub your foot against.

I end up with wrinkles in the stockings and can not work them out:

Grip gloves. If creases continues to appear you may need to consider getting custom made Flat knit stockings rather than Off the shelf circular knit. As always, you want to make sure you have minimal swelling when you put the stockings on. The stockings should keep your limb from swelling throughout the day. If they are not strong enough, your leg will swell inside the stocking and result in creases that can worsen the condition. I recommend locating a Certified Lymphedema Therapist in your area to get help with minimizing the edema and get fitted for good compression stockings.

The top of the stocking rolls or wrinkles, causing a deep crease in the skin:

This problem can worsen the swelling. If the top of the stocking rolls it increases the pressure in that narrow area. That limits the lymph flow from that limb and can increase the swelling. Consider stockings with a silicone border or get custom made Flat knit. If you have thigh high you may consider a hip attachement, garter belts or switching to pantyhose. Talk to your Lymphedema Therapist to try a different stocking. Rolling at the top may also be caused by increased swelling above the stocking, casuing it to get puched down. You may need Lymphedema therapy to remove the edema, then consider extending the compression with panty hose or compression shorts.

I get creases at the ankle, causing pain.

Work out the wrinkles with Grip gloves. If that does not work consider Flat knit custom made stockings. Also, make sure it is not casued by increased edema. If so, see a Lymphedema therapist to decrease the edema, then consider stronger compression garments.

I have sensitive skin. It hurts to put them on.

The Doff N Donner is the most gentle on the skin since it does not require as much sliding. Try Silicone Lubricant. If that does not work, consider a Velcrow closure compression garment like Juxta Fit.  rather than an elastic garment. Another option is to wear a soft cotton liner under the Compression garment. Contact us for more information about this option.

I can not reach my feet.

Consider the Ezy as with handles, the Steve or the Doff N Donner with the chute. The smaller donning frames may work for putting on stockings if you can reach close to your feet, but the Steve is the only frame I know of that you can use to remove the stockings with as well. The Doff N Donner can also be used for removing stockings without reaching your feet.

I can not reach to remove the stockings.

Try a dressing stick or a Medi Butler off. If you are close to getting them off but need that extra push, the down turned, rubber coated hook on a dressing stick may work if you slide the hoock in the space behind the ankle bone. This has worked for some of our patients but for many it gets to tight around the ankle when the stocking bunches up.  The best solution I have seen for removing stockings are the Doff N Donner and Steve.

It hurts when I pull the stockings off.

The Doff N Donner makes taking the stockings off much easier. You can combine it with the Juzo Easy pad to avoid having to reach as much. Another option that works very good is the Easy Off.

It is difficult to get the stocking over the thigh and knee

Most of the donning devices only deals with the problem of getting the stockings past the heel and ankle. If it is difficult to work the rest of the garment on you can try Silicon Lubricant. It only takes a couple of drops per application to reduce friction against the skin.

The nylon stockings get too hot and sweaty.

Try cotton stockings. We are located in North Carolina with hot and humid summers. My patients have found that the nylon stockings, even though they seem thinner or are sheer, can be hotter than stockings with cotton.

The stocking squeezes my toes.

Try open toe stocking. A risk with open toe stockings is that they can slide back on the foot causing swelling behind the toes. A risk with closed toe stockigns is that they can press on the toe and cause pressure sores or skin problems. Either way you want to make sure they are fittet right. You always get the best fit with custom made stockings.

The stockings does not stay up.

You first have to determine the cause. Are the stockings fitted right? Is the edema trying to return above the stocking pushing it down. Is the tissue very soft  in that area? Try stockings with a silicone border at the top. If that does not work you may need custom made garments. There are a variety of hip attachments or panty hose as well. As always, make sure you have minimal edema when you are fitted for and putting on the stockings. Compression garments are intended to prevent swelling, not remove it. Contact a Certified Lymphedema Therapist in your area to reduce the swelling to a minimum.

The stockings leaves deep indentations.

This could be an indication that you have pitting swelling. Stockings should be fitted when you have minimal swelling. They should be strong enough to prevent the swelling from coming back. If you get swelling while wearing stockings I recommend trying to find a Certified Lymphedema Therapist in your area to help you reduce the swelling, then get fitted for stronger compression garments. Flat knit custom made stockings cost more but will fit better, be less likely to crease and last longer than circular knit.

None of that will work for me. I just can not wear elastic compression garments.

There are other options to the elastic garments that you have to pull on. One good option that many of our patients use is a Velcrow closure compression garments. The Juxta Fit can be a good option as an alternative to elastic stockings. I have not had sucess with zippers. The zipper can be just as hard to pull up as the stockings and the seam can leave an indentation causing pressure sores or skin problems. 

The stockings do not fit right.

Try to find a Certified Lymphedema Therapist in the area. They can help you reduce the swelling to a minimum, then fit you for proper compression garments. Unfortunately, compression garments are often fitted in the Medical supply store when the limb is swollen. That often results in a poor fit. There are many decisions to make about what type of garment to make and should be done with guidence by a Lymphedema Therapist. They can guide you to decide type, compression class and size.

Sometimes I wake up with swelling and can not put on the stockings.

There are night garments. We do not recommend to wear elastic compression garments 24/7. The skin needs a break from that pressure to prevent pressure sores. Night garments are often less or non-elastic with a thick padding. One that we often use is Medafit by Biacare. Contact us for ordering information. 


Dec 20, 2014
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