What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are blood vessels just under the skin that have widened and twisted by a defect in the valves. Although some varicose veins not cause any symptoms, in some cases they can lead to serious medical problems.

What causes varicose veins?

Varicose veins occur when the vein valve is not functioning properly. This causes blood to pool and stagnate. This limits the blood to provide the muscles, nerves and the skin tissue its nutrients, which results in serious and irreparable damage.

Why do the valves fail?

This may occur for several reasons, but usually the valves fail due to inactivity, disease, blood clots, and other factors such as obesity, pregnancy and sitting or standing for long periods.

Who is at risk?

Several factors can cause and/or accelerate the development of varicose veins: age, heredity, pregnancy, obesity, standing or sitting, oral contraceptives and surgery or trauma.

How can varicose veins be prevented?

Exercise regularly, avoid long periods of standing/sitting, wear high heels as much as possible, keep your weight stable and always wear graduated compression stockings.

How are varicose veins being treated?

There are different types of varicose vein treatments and they all depend on the level of venous disease. Treatment may consist of graduated compression stockings, injection therapy (sclerotherapy), surgery and laser therapy.

How do compression stockings work?

Graduated compression stockings provide a certain pressure on the leg muscles, starting with the highest compression at the ankles. The applied pressure is reduced gradually until it finally performs the least compression on the thigh. This graduated compression improves the drainage of blood and fluid, which prevents/reduce the swelling of the feet and ankles.

Can I wear anti-embolism stockings instead of graduated compression stockings?

Anti-embolism stockings, sometimes referred to as TED stockings, are intended for non-ambulatory patients. If you have mild to severe varicose veins, and you are not a pre-or post-surgical patient lying in bed, you should wear graduated compression stockings.

When should I see a doctor?

You should consult a doctor if varicose veins is in your family history and if you experience the following symptoms: pain, heavy and tired legs, swollen feet and ankles, itchy skin, change in skin color (gray around the ankles).

What pressure class is the right choice for me?

Click here to see which stocking is the right choice for you.

When, where and how should I measure my legs?

It is not difficult to measure your legs. We advise you to measure your legs every 6 months, right after coming out of bed, with a measure tape. And remember that graduated compression stockings are designed to be firm and supportive.

Who benefits from wearing compression stockings?

Everyone can feel better by wearing graduated compression stockings. Especially those of us, who have to stand or sit for long periods. Graduated compression stockings are most advantageous for people experiencing the following symptoms:

  • tired/heavy feeling and painful legs
  • swollen legs
  • varicose veins
  • venous insufficiency
  • post-thrombotic syndrome
  • healed venous ulcers
  • active venous ulcers
  • lymphedema

It is recommended to consult your doctor before wearing compression stockings with pressure class 2 and higher.

When should people not wear compression stockings?

Contraindications (medical conditions where compression is not recommended):

  • Ischemia (e.g. advanced arterial disease) of the legs
  • Uncontrolled congestive heart failure
  • Untreated Septic phlebitis of the leg
  • Phlegmasia cerulea dolens

Wearing compression stockings should be used with caution in the presence of:

  • skin infections
  • weeping dermatoses
  • allergies of the materials of the compression stocking
  • decreased sensitivity of the limbs
  • immobility (bedridden)

It is recommended to consult your doctor before wearing compression stockings with pressure class 2 and higher.

Why is it so hard to put on compression stockings?

Your doctor can tell you that if compression stockings are not difficult to put on, they are not able to provide the necessary compression. That’s probably not the answer you wanted to hear. Because graduated compression stockings create the greatest pressure at the ankle, the largest part of the foot (the circumference of the top of the foot around the heel) must go through the smallest and the most rigid part of the stocking. New knitting techniques, yarns and finishes ensure that our compression stockings are easier to put on than before.

Do the compression stockings contain latex?

Latex is a natural substance derived from the rubber tree. All our compression stockings are latex free.

When is a knee-high stocking recommended?

A knee-high graduated compression stocking is generally recommended to prevent or treat the signs and symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency or other causes of swelling in the lower leg and changing skin conditions. With swelling or varicose veins above the knee, thigh-high stockings offer a solution.

Can I wear two compression stockings instead of a compression stocking in a higher-pressure class?

Yes, there is an additive effect of compression stockings. For example, some doctors advise their patients to achieve a certain level of compression by wearing compression tights and over that a knee-high stocking. Always consult your doctor before doing this!

Why are compression stockings prescribed after a blood clot (DVT) in the leg?

Knee-high compression stockings are often prescribed to a patient who has a deep venous thrombosis (DVT) or blood clot in the leg. The stockings are primarily useful to keep the swelling in the leg to a minimum and in addition to avoid a post-thrombotic syndrome, which may occur a few months after the DVT.

What is a post-thrombotic syndrome or PTS?

Post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) is a collection of subjective symptoms and clinical signs after a thrombotic episode. PTS manifests itself by clinical signs of swelling, dilation of the veins around the ankles, pigment changes in the skin of the lower leg with subjective complaints of spontaneous pain in the calf and/or pain while standing/walking. The syndrome varies from mild to excruciating pain and swelling.

What is the difference between an anti-embolism stocking and a medical compression stocking?

Anti-embolism stockings are designed specifically for tied to bed (non-ambulatory) patients to help prevent blood in the leg veins to coagulate. The clotting of blood in the veins of the leg can contribute to the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels. Anti-embolism stockings are usually made to wear in a hospital during a short time. These stockings are normally only available in the color white. When it appears to be necessary still wearing compression stockings after laying in the hospital, your doctor will determine what pressure class is most suitable for you.

Do I have to wear a compression stocking for my healthy leg as well?

Basically, only the leg showing symptoms or conditions will need a compression stocking. Yet some also choose to wear a compression stocking with a lower pressure class on the healthy leg. For example, your doctor has told you to wear a compression stocking pressure class 2, 23-31 mmHg because of chronic venous insufficiency. You can choose to wear a pressure class 1, 15-20 mmHg compression stocking on the other leg. Always check with your doctor if the problem is present in only one leg.

What is the “economy class syndrome”?

Economy class syndrome is a term used to describe the medical condition DVT as a result of a long period of air traveling. The closing in a blood vessel (thrombosis) due to prolonged immobilization (not moving or hardly move) as a result of air travel with too little leg room (as in economy class). When a person takes up very little movement during the flight and is left in the same position the risk of thrombosis and subsequent embolism increases. Especially people who travel in economy class, have little room to maneuver (especially leg room) on the plane. Hence the term economy class syndrome.

What is the best time to measure my compression stockings?

It is best to measure your legs as soon as possible after getting up, before the swelling in your legs occur.

Do I really need to wear these flesh-colored granny panties?

The STOX compression stockings are very fashionable and look like regular knee socks or tights. People will not see the difference between your compression stockings and regular stockings/tights.

Do compression stockings make my varicose veins go away?

Wearing compression stockings will not make your varicose veins disappear. However, they will help relieve symptoms like swelling, fatigue and aching legs. They are also very important in stimulating the results of treatment and in the prevention of new varicose veins.

Do the compression stockings sag?

Compression stockings are available in many sizes. When you wear the right size, the stocking will not sag. In some of our compression stockings you can also opt for a silicon board, so you are assured the stocking is staying up.

I struggle to pull on my stockings, are there any tips?

Rubber gloves can help to pull on the compression stockings easier. They also protect your stockings from hooks, eyes or tearing.

How long does the compression in my stocking lasts?

The compression stockings last 4 to 6 months, when they are worn every day and are washed properly.

How do I take the best care of my compression stockings?

Wash the compression stockings every two or three days by hand or in the washing machine at 30 degrees. Wash the compression stockings with a mild detergent. Do not use fabric softener, bleach or stain water to wash. Rinse the compression stockings so there remains no soap residue.

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