Varicose veins are formed because of improper blood supply in the veins. When the blood supply is blocked, veins get enlarged and twisted. These varicose veins diminish the cosmetic appearance, as they are clearly visible in the skin and moreover they may become painful if not treated properly. They mostly appear in the legs and the color of the vein may differ from blue to red.
Varicose veins are mainly caused due to aging, genetics, pregnancy, obesity and women are more prone to get affected. There are proven treatments available for varicose veins. Visiting a clinic that is specialized in varicose vein treatment in Pune is advisable. Though varicose vein can affect in any part of the body, the most vulnerable part is our legs. The doctor who is specialized in treating varicose vein treatment can suggest how to manage the problem or advice the patients with some self care tips. One of the self-care tips is using compression stockings.
What are compression stockings?
Compression stockings are not ordinary pair of socks. These stockings, also known as pressure or gradient stockings are special hosiery products designed to provide external pressure to the legs for better blood circulation. These compression socks compress the legs stronger than the ordinary socks. The external pressure due to these stockings is highest in the ankle or foot and gradually decreases over the leg. The type of compression stockings vary according to the
- length – top of thigh or knee
- tightness – Mild to extra firm
Although it is an over the counter product of a pharmacy, it is advisable to seek the opinion of an expert doctor to select the suitable type of stockings.
How compression stockings help?
Due to varicose veins, venous blood flow becomes difficult. The stockings provide the sufficient compression effect on these veins and help them to maintain the proper blood flow. With the help of these stockings,
- Blood flow in the veins gets normalized
- Pooling of blood and swelling gets avoided
- The pressure on the ankle or foot is reduced
The level of compression needed is usually measured in mm of Hg and varies according to the severity of the problem. Hence the stockings are basically designed for four categories:
- Mild compression – 8 to 15 mm Hg
- Moderate compression – 15 to 20 mm Hg
- Firm compression – 20 to 30 mm Hg
- Extra firm compression – 30 to 40 mm Hg
When to wear:
As the stockings provide support to the leg and reduce the ankle pressure, doctors always recommend it to wear compression stockings throughout the day. In fact it is strongly advised to wear the stockings before getting out of bed, as the quantum of swelling in the varicose affected legs are minimal in the early morning. It can be removed while sleeping, provided extra pillows or cushions are kept below the legs to elevate the position of ankles. For the initial few days, it may be hard and difficult to wear the stockings, but, gradually it should be snug fitting and provide sufficient comfort.
Compression stockings are usually the first step of defense adapted by the doctors for varicose vein treatment and a proper selection of type and size is possible only after thorough diagnosis.