More Questions You Have Asked

Our clients have certainly given us some questions that need to be addressed. One of the main concerns seems to be that of being able to don and doff (put on and take off) their own compression stockings. Staying independent is important to all of us. One question that was asked is if there is a donner for support pantyhose similar to the one for knee high or thigh high support socks. Yes there is. However I do not recommend using it. I believe it is one thing to have one leg in a donner trying to pull up a support sock, but to have both legs involved in a donner I feel could lead to a nasty fall.

It seems everyone wants to know the easiest way to put on support pantyhose. I would like to share with you how I put my panty hose on. I wear 20-30 pantyhose and it takes me about 5 minutes and a bit of patience to put my stockings on in the morning. While it is not an easy task, it is really no more difficult than putting on a pair of knee high stockings. The hardest part of putting on any lower extremity compression garment is getting it over the heel. First I will repeat what I said last week, never gather the stocking. I use the Sigvaris Donning Gloves to put on my support pantyhose. I call them my “magic green gloves”. They enable arthritic hands to have better grasp. I use the little “nubbies” to pinch and pull the stockings up. They also protect my stockings from my fingernails. Even when I have the Sigvaris Donning Gloves on, I use only the balls of the finger tips to grasp the stockings.

First I sit down and with out my “magic green gloves” I pull the stockings on one leg as far as I can.  (For me, it is easier to start with the left leg.) Then I put on my gloves and pull the stocking up and over my heel and then up my leg as high above the knee as I can by pinching the garment and pulling it up. Then I start the other leg into the stocking and use the gloves in the same manner to pull the stocking up to the same level.

When I have them as high up my legs as I can get them while sitting down I remove the gloves, stand up, and pull the stockings up and over my tummy. Once this is accomplished, I put the gloves back on and start at the ankle of each leg and re-stretch the stockings by pinching and pulling all the way up the leg.

Then I take the gloves off and place my hands in the back of the stockings with my palms out. I push away from the body and lift up without grabbing the stockings. This seats the crotch of the pantyhose.

If the color or appearance of the stockings is uneven, I put on the gloves and use the flat of the hand to rub gently up or down the leg to adjust the stocking so it has an even appearance.

peel a banana3

Now that we have managed to put on stockings or socks, how are we going to get them off? I have had clients become so frustrated and panicked that they cut (yes, cut) a very expensive garment off. Same thing applies here as when putting on a compression garment…never gather the garment (or allow it to roll) when removing it. It becomes like the rubber band again and extremely difficult to remove. Instead start at the top and pull the garment down allowing the garment (it does not matter if it is a knee high, thigh high, or pantyhose) to slid on itself until you are able to pull it off your foot. The stocking slides on itself.  Peel your socks off just like you peel a banana.

If the “Peel a banana” method is not working for you, we have another option the Mediven Butler Off. The Butler Off looks similar to a shoe horn. There is a handle on top for pushing and a “tooth” to help push the garment off. The Butler Off is not meant for use with sheer support hose, but with more substantial garments. The Butler Off is not to be used to help push yourself up from a sitting position.

How to Use the Medi Butler Off for Removal of Stockings or SocksHow to use Medi Butler Off

  • Slide the tip of the horn under the top band of the stockings.
  • Now push the handle gently downwards: the far end of the horn slides down your calf and then over your heel. During the whole process the inner surface of the horn should remain in contact with your skin. At the same time the “tooth” helps push the stocking downwards. In order to regain contact with your skin you can start again with the horn a little higher and then continue with the downward movement if necessary.
  • As soon as you reach your heel lift your heel up. Then tilt the stick downwards a little to guide the horn along the underside of your foot. Caution: Make sure you do not press the stocking against the ground with the doffing aid. Otherwise the stocking may be damaged. Now push the handle forwards gently: the stockings slides off your foot, but stays on the horn.

There are more ways to don and doff compression stockings or support socks that these, but perhaps this will get you started. If you have comments or more questions, please click on the title of this newsletter, More Questions You Have Asked, scroll to the bottom of the blog, and leave your message as a guest.

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

 

Support Hose – Questions You May Have Asked

I had a gentleman email me the other day asking how to sort his compression socks into pairs. This started me thinking…there are questions we get asked over and over again so I thought I would devote a few newsletters covering some of these questions.

How can I sort support socks so I don’t embarass myself by having on mismatched support socks?

mismatched socks

    Compression socks are dyed so very heavy that it is often very difficult to tell the difference between blue, brown and black until you have mismatched socks on! (Even in this photo one sock is brown and the other back.)
  • You should get your socks in really good light. They are much easier to pair that way.
  • You could put each pair in a separate lingerie bag when you remove the socks. They are always paired that way.
  • When you receive your new socks, take a few running stitches in the top of the socks. Use a different color for each pair.

Is there any way to make support socks or support stockings with silicone tops stay up?  
wiping silicone band with alcohol small

    After you have had your socks or stockings with a silicone band for a little while (less than the 4 – 6 month life of the garment), they may start to slide down.

  • Sometimes you will get a body protein and lotion (accidental application) build up on the silicone band (even if you wash these garments every night).
  • Take a wash cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol and wipe only the silicone dots or silicone strips. This could be done weekly as a deterrent to garments sliding
  • This will restore the tackiness of the silicone.

 

Is there an easier way to put support hose or support socks on someone else?

Donning a Sock

    I have clients who are caregivers make comments about how hard it is to put compression support hose or support stockings on someone else.

  • To begin with, never and I mean never, gather the compression sock or stocking like you would an ordinary sock or stocking. The garment becomes like a rubber band and you cannot stretch it open far enough to insert the toes… no matter how strong you are, it is next to impossible. Fold the top of the sock down until you are right above the heal pocket.
  • Insert your thumbs into the opening and stretch the garment open. (You are only stretching two layers of support sock and not a clump of support sock).
  • Next sit next to the person you are going to put the stockings on and pull the garment on them as though you were pulling the garment onto your leg.
  • It is many times easier to pull a sock or stocking on than try to push one on!

If you have questions or comments, scroll to the bottom of this blog and leave your comment or question as a guest.

The Newest (and Driest) Technology in Compression Socks

sweaty feetOur feet are the second sweatiest part of our body next to our armpits. The 250,000 sweat glands found on each foot can generate between half a cup and a cup of perspiration per day, depending on our level of activity. Unless this moisture is wicked away, our feet will become soggy and the skin soft and damp. Mushy skin becomes damaged a lot faster than dry skin. This is why 100% cotton socks are not a good choice. Cotton appears in a lot of less expensive socks. It absorbs more moisture than many other fibers, but loses all of its insulating ability when saturated, takes forever to dry, and will sag and bunch when wet. Socks which contain high percentages of cotton should be avoided.

Our socks take extreme wear and tear from our daily activities. They protect our feet from blisters and all the abuse we can deal out. Thus as we don (put on) our socks each day their job is to manage moisture and keep our feet dry. Their second job is to give enough padding to keep our feet warm or cool depending on conditions and our activity, and protect our feet from blisters.

Socks and the yarns which are used to knit them are probably one of the least thought about issues of our time. However, if our feet are not happy, we are not happy. The right socks make us feel good. Our manufacturers spend a lot of time and money on research looking for the best yarns to use to knit compression socks and compression stockings to make them both durable and effective. So let’s take some time to consider the yarns used to knit them.

Nylon and polyester are extremely durable. When a sock wears out the nylon is the last threads seen which are holding those favorite socks together. These synthetic, non-porous materials absorb very little water, dry quickly, and help give socks form and structure. Nylon and polyester themselves do not move moisture, but manufacturers apply a variety of coatings to the fibers to wick moisture away from our feet. (Dry feet are less susceptible to bacteria and fungus.) Examples of polyester and nylon socks are the Sigvaris Recovery SockSigvaris Performance SockTherafirm Core-Spun Knee High and Therafirm Core-Spun Cushioned Knee High, and the Sigvaris Performanace Sleeve.

Polyamide is a term often seen in socks. They are the basic fiber forming substances for nylon fiber. Polyamide was developed in the United States about 1935 and first used in stockings about 1940. Nylon fiber is fine, highly elastic, easy to wash, quick to dry and retains its shape well.

Acrylic is another commonly used synthetic material. It closely approximates the plushness of wool, while offering the increased durability of a synthetic. Other materials used include Lycra Spandex or Elasthan, which provide the hugging elastic. Please note that neither Spandex nor Elasthan contain rubber! In fact there are only a very few socks from our manufacturers that do contain rubber. All garments contain Spandex or Elasthan to give the support socks or support stockings the stretch. An example of socks with acrylic, nylon and Elasthan are the Therafirm Core-Spun.

Natural fibers would seem to be a good choice, but some have drawbacks. Cotton, as we have already discussed, is not a good choice. Wool manages moisture well, and wicks moisture away from your feet. Wool provides good padding and warmth, and can absorb up to a third of its weight in water without feeling damp or losing much of its insulating ability. Something you may not have known…wool regulates temperature well keeping feet cool as well as warm. However, wool is also less durable than most synthetic materials, and does not hold its shape well. So that we may have the best of both worlds (natural fibers and man made fibers) our manufacturers are now creating blends of fine wool, nylon, and spandex. Examples of the mix of fine Australian Merino Wool, nylon, and spandex mix are the Sigvaris Merino Wool and the Sigvaris Thermoregulating Wool .

Now last, but by no means least is a patented, intimate blend of synthetic and natural fibers that accelerates the water release rate of wet fabric. Dri-Release® is a micro blend performance yarn that feels like cotton. Rather than just spreading moisture across its surface, Dri-Release® actually pushes moisture to the outside of a garment, releasing water and perspiration. Tests show it dries four times faster than cotton and faster than any other performance fabric on the market. Dri-Release® is the preferred performance fabric for athletes all over the world. The unparalleled performance and moisture transferring qualities of Dri-Release® help these many athletes perform at the top of their game every time. One of the socks we have previously mentioned, Sigvaris Recovery Sock, is an example of a sock containing the Dri-Release® yarn.

In conclusion if shopping for what many of us call support hose, compression hosiery, support socks and many other names, a garment with high contents of synthetic fibers will tend to give us longer wear, provide wicking action to remove moisture from our feet and provide ample padding. Top of this list of synthetic fibers is the new yarn which was developed Optimar called Dri-Release®. It is the very same yarn used in socks worn in bicycle races and triathlons by well know athletes. Socks containing wool are also a good choice because it is  thermo regulating, moisture wicking, insulating, breathable, and durable. 


Happy Activities,

Vanda
SupportHosePlus.com

Santa Didn’t Wear His Support Socks

Hello To All,I Wish I Had Worn My Support Socks

Hope your Holiday season has been kinder to you than it was to our dear old friend Santa Clause. Santa forgot to wear his support socks for his whirl wind world trip and see how swollen his feet are!? If you have not been wearing your support socks or support stockings, your feet may look just like Santa’s and you may feel just as tired as Santa.

All kidding aside, when you take your get away this winter or spring be sure to wear your compression socks or compression stockings. The number of travel-related vein conditions is increasing each year. No matter how you travel, blood circulation in the lower extremity is reduced simply because you are sitting in one position. Symptoms such as heavy legs, leg pain, or swollen feet and ankles develop. The reduced circulation in the lower leg can lead to blood clots (DVT) or even worse the blood clots could break loose and travel to the lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism (PE) which can be deadly.

Blood clots are more common in the left leg, possibly because the femoral artery in that leg passes anterior to the vein, and may compress the vein. Symptoms do not usually develop immediately after travel, but more likely within three days of arrival at your destination. Symptoms may not manifest themselves for up to two weeks after a long trip. Symptoms include: pain in leg or pelvis, tenderness and swelling of the leg, discoloration of the leg (reddish), areas of the leg or pelvis region that feel warm to touch, or whole leg swelling.

DVT kills more people every year than AIDS, breast cancer, and traffic accidents combined. Don’t be like Santa, wear your support hose or support socks and arrive at your destination ready for a fun time!

Things You Can Do To Prevent DVT When You Travel

  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing
  • Get up and walk once every hour or two
  • Make figure eights and circles with your feet while seated
  • Breathe deeply frequently
  • Drink plenty of water (Avoid excessive alcohol intake – it dehydrates the body)
  • Elevate your feet when possible
  • Wear your support sock and stockings from Support Hose Plus

Just remember to wear support socks or support stockings when you travel and continue to wear them for the next few days after your arrival at your destination to make sure your legs return to normal size. Encourage friends or family who are traveling with you to do the same. (They may not know about the dangers of Travel Related DVT.) They may not have any problems, so a 15-20mmHg compression may be adequate for them.

Ho! Ho! Ho!
Happy Travels to You and Yours,

Vanda