Extending the life of your compression garment
If your doctor has prescribed medical compression stockings to help alleviate symptoms of your venous condition, you must ensure that the proper care is taken to ensure the best therapeutic results.
Proper care ensures not only that your stockings will last, but also that they will continue to provide the maximum therapeutic benefits in your vein disease treatment.
The primary role of compression is to maintain a reduction of swelling. Consistency in providing the appropriate compression is crucial in order to achieve maximum effectiveness in your therapy.
Stockings are generally worn from first thing in the morning until nighttime. Although compression stockings are constructed of strong elastic and durable materials, they will stretch out after a days’ wearing. And some areas of the stocking, like the knee or elbow, endure increased stretching, which can cause pooling of edema fluid in those areas.
In order to maintain color, shape, elasticity and optimal therapeutic benefits of these garments, proper maintenance of these garments is important.
Your medi® compression stockings will come with specific guidelines to proper care and washing which should be followed.. Daily washing of compression garments helps them restore and retain their elastic properties as well as removes perspiration, dirt, bacteria, oils and dead skin that can collect while wearing the garment. Washing does not harm compression, although the wrong dryer setting or using the wrong cleaning agent could damage the garment, so proper maintenance is key.
Garments can be machine or hand washed. Daily washing is recommended, especially if lotions are used on the skin, which can break down the fibers in the stockings. medi day gel is a great option for a daytime lotion that can be used prior to donning your compression in the morning.
If machine-washing, it is recommended to place the garment in a mesh laundry bag (check out the medi compliance kit that comes in its very own wash bag: in order to protect the fabric during the washing cycle (gentle cycle specifically).
Water temperature may range between cool and warm, but should not be colder than 86 degrees Fahrenheit, or warmer than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Darker colored garments should be washed in cool water.
It is best to have more than one garment (one to wear; one to wash), which should be worn alternately to allow the elasticity to recover and to prolong their effectiveness.
What type of detergent should I use?
It’s important to note that harsh cleaning agents can actually harm the fibers of your compression garments, so it is best to use milder options, free of bleach, chlorine, or fabric softeners. medi has designed a special solution, medi care® wash, that will help extend the life of your garment. It is a pure, organic and biodegradable solution that thoroughly removes the daily accumulation of perspiration and body oils from compression garments.
How best to dry my stockings?
Compression garments can be machine-dried or “air” dried.
For dryers, maximum low-heat should be used because excessive heat exposure can weaken or damage the elastic fibers of the garments.
If air-dried, you should never pull, squeeze or wring out the residual water from a garment. It’s best to gently roll the garment in a towel and squeeze the towel before laying them out to dry which will help speed up the drying process.
If you decide to line-dry your garment, make sure to turn the garment inside out and avoid direct sunlight.
When should a compression stocking be replaced?
Proper care will increase the lifespan of your garment, but it is important to note that the elastic fibers of a compression garment will break down over time and with constant wear. As a general rule, stockings should be replaced every six months, or when the garment shows any signs of wear that could affect the compressive properties of the garment. If the garment no longer returns to its original shape after washing, has any runs or holes in it, or if the garment becomes even easier to apply, it probably needs to be replaced.
To discover medi accessories that can help care for your compression garments: