Support Stocking Donning Issues

Many times you have heard us say, “Use lotion the night before, do not use lotion on your legs right before putting on your stockings.” Our opinion and our manufacturers opinion has changed on this issue. We asked you not to use lotion right before donning your stockings because many of our great customers wear garments with silicone bands. If the lotion gets on the silicone band, the band is likely not to keep the garment up and will allow it to slip down. There is a simple solution to this problem…dampen a cloth with rubbing alcohol and rub the band to remove the lotion. This should also be done about once a week to remove body oils from the silicone band which normal laundering will not remove.

Rod and I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days on one of the beautiful Florida beaches (before Hurricane Irene). Our time there made me much more aware of what some of my customers have been telling us. I don’t know if you are familiar with the weather in Amarillo, Texas. We are “high and dry”…the altitude is about 3,600 feet and our normal yearly rainfall is about 19.5 inches (not so this year). So when our clients complain that their stockings are so difficult to put on because it is so hot or hot and sticky, well, I felt most people have air conditioning so their house is dry. Ha! Ha! While we were on the beach the temperature was 100 degrees and the humidity felt as though is must be at least 90%! Nothing seemed to ever dry out (even in our room)! After I took a shower and attempted to put my 20-30mmHg pantyhose on, it was almost impossible! I did find it was much easier if I made sure I used lotion on my heels and feet first. It was a definite must to use my Sigvaris donning gloves (can’t live without them). The lotion allowed the stocking to glide more easily (if there is a more easily when it is that hot and humid) over the foot. Please remember the lotion or cream you use on your feet or legs should not contain any petroleum products. They can break down the elastin in your garment. If any of you have had similar experiences, please let us know by scrolling to the bottom of the blog entry to leave a comment. You can leave it as a guest and not have to log in.



26 Responses

  1. I would like to wear my compression hose more than I do, (i have Lymphedema in my left leg)…but no matter how I put them on I end up getting the “rubber band effect” around my ankles which hurts like the dickens and I end up taking them off…any suggestions

    • Hi Grandma Judy! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a question. I have several suggestions. You did not mention what length stockings you are wearing or the style or manufacturer. When you have lymphedema, you need a stocking that is not necessisarily soft or pretty, but give the resistanace you need. For example, a Jobst UltraSheer or a Mediven Sheer and Soft are probably not appropriate garments. Once those creases are formed, it is impossible to get them out that day. Sometime you can span the ankle area with pads. If you will send me an email ( me what garment you are wearing (manufacturer, style, compression and size) and your measurements on both legs taken first thing in the morning when you are smallest, I will try to determine if it is the appropriate garment or if there is anything else we can suggest so that you can become compliant in wearing a compression garment. Here is what I need to know on your measurements:

        Measurements should be taken upon arising when your legs are at their smallest

      • Using a measuring tape measure around the smallest part of the ankle… This will be above the round bones (malleoli) on both sides of the ankle.
      • Next measure around the fullest part of your calf.
      • For thigh length styles also measure around the fullest part of the thigh.
      • Height
      • Weight
      • Shoe Size
  2. Hi, off the subject. I loved the “old” sigvaris hose, better than the new and “improved” version that came out this year. They are much too thin, and don’t seem to have the support of the other version. Anybody else feel the same? bring back the old ones!!

  3. Thank you so much for the information. It is always good to review what I already know (especially at age 76) and I learned that you should not use petroleum products with elastic stockings–my doctor had just recommended I use anything that works for skin moisture on my feet, even petroleum jelly which I tried once but prior to bedtime so by the time I showered in the morning I doubt there was much left on me. Since my second hip replacement I am experiencing neuropathy in my feet and often put some lotion on my feet before bed. I surely need to check the ingredients!! Thanks again. Sue

  4. Hi Vanna…I like your comments on the difficulty putting the stockings on in humid weather. Here in PA our summers are usually very humid and it seems you can’t dry off even after toweling off after a shower, so
    getting my 30-40mg stockings on is difficult and even more so since I have arthritis in my fingers. I, too, worry how I am going to do it when I get older(I’m 66 now). I’ll try your recommendations, but I wonder if you have any suggestions for how I can stop my left stocking from rolling and making a “garter”? It’s only the left one that rolls down and it’s very annoying. It happens with every pair I purchase. I wear Mediven knee highs and other than the rolling issue, I am very pleased with them and have been wearing them for years. You have always given me good service and a good product.

  5. Nice clear video…only doesn’t discuss if stockings really tight may need to slide up with stocking on stocking and gently “massage” out the wrinkles if any. i am sharing the link with one of my nursing students who was glad that I had shown the class how to put them on properly when she had to start wearing this summer after a DVT after traveling. Thanks for your education focus for folks.

  6. Thanks very timely; was just about to ask how to clean the band on my thigh highs so they would stop slipping down. Have a blessed day. Glad you missed the hurricane.

  7. My husband regularly uses lotion on his legs which helps keep them in place. He also realized some time ago that shaving his legs helps. Others may find this of interest

  8. Thanks for the info on petroeum products (in skin care emollients)harming the stocking material! I’ll have to check mine.
    We live in a dry, high climate like yours so there’s little donning trouble EXCEPT when I go to my water aerobics class! Due to foot & ankle issues, that’s the only effective exercise option open to me and putting on my compression stockings after swimming in a pool is enough of a challenge that I often consider just skipping it & going without. Know that’s not a good idea but I’m by far the last one out of the locker room. Is talc a good idea? Thanks

    • Hi Kathy,
      A little talc after water aerobics might be okay. If you have very dry skin, the talc can make your skin drier. So if you are going home with no other stops, it might be a wise choice to wait until you get home to put your stockings on.

  9. I too live in a tropical,hot muggy climate that We love. The support stockings became part of my life many years ago. I shower and then sit in front of a fan for a few minutes in air conditioning and then put on my stockings.This works for me. This way my legs are completely dry and my sigvaris toeless go right on.

  10. I use sesame oil on my leg before donning on my thigh high stocking and my skin absorbs the oil and moistures it and makes it easier to pull on my leg especially the thigh area where I have the most swelling. I love the stockings that I purchase from you and also the customer service that I receive from you.

  11. I have always used the rubber donning gloves to put on my 30-40mmHG Mediven pantyhose style compression stockings which I have worn for the last 10 years to combat lymphedema. Even so, getting the stockings on in the humid Dallas climate is quite an exercise.

    I often worry that I will not have the strength to put them on when I am older. I started wearing these stockings at age 50 and I am 60 now.

    I have to wear the panthose style because the malfunctioning lymph nodes are in my groin area and I need the added compression of the panty part of the pantyhose.

    • Hi Susan,
      I know the Dallas summer weather can be terrible for stocking wearers and especially those of us who wear pantyhose! I always say the 30-40 mmHg compression is a very different stocking and much more difficult to put on than the others. Keep up wearing your stockings and it will help you keep your strength as you grow older.

  12. Yes! Humidity leads to donning difficulties. I lightly dust my feet and ankles with a good quality foot powder (drying and anti-bacterial). Makes donning much easier, and have never had a slip down problem. I do not do this all the time, just when times are too damp.

    • Hi Daniel,
      We have recommended dusting with foot powder or corn starch, but here in our dry area we must be very careful. Many of our clients feet are already compromised (very dry) and the use of a powder can make it worse.

  13. Hello, I have always used a good quality foot/heel cream as recommended by my Podiatrist before donning my compression stockings, our climate is hot, high humidity,sub-tropical, and I’ve never had a problem with my Jobst, I do prefer the open-toe style because of our climate, which is why I buy from you, as suppliers in this country do not import the open-toe style, ridiculous as it may seem. Hope to continue our association, thanks for your excellent service….

  14. Vanda
    I enjoy your letters and blog. In your last letter you mention patrolium containing products. Do you mean petroleum? Just want to make sure…a lot of chemical names sound the same. My experience is putting lotion Before donning makes the socks hard to put on, although I haven’t tried your new cream.

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