Doctors often recommend compression socks for effective, short-term relief from the swelling and pain caused by edema (swelling). Though wearing compression socks incorrectly or for too long can cause additional health problems, the risk is minimal as long as you follow the correct precautions.
Compression socks for edema are easy to access, affordable, and offer fast long-lasting relief. Wearing them daily can help decrease swelling, make walking more comfortable, and make it easier to relax when you’re at rest.
There are few risks to wearing compression socks for edema, but you should follow some safety guidelines regarding how long and how often you should wear them. This article discusses these guidelines so you can wear your compression socks safely.
Are you ready to try treating your edema with compression socks? Try Nurse Yard compression socks for reliable, all-day comfort. From the cushioned ankle to the no-slip cuff, we designed these socks with you in mind.
How Compression Socks Help Edema (Swelling)
As the name suggests, compression socks work by applying continuous, consistent pressure to your feet and lower legs.
If you have edema, this can help:
- Prevent fluid retention in the compressed tissues
- Improve blood flow and support your veins
- Support muscles and connective tissue
As long as you wear them consistently throughout the day, compression socks should help keep your legs from becoming swollen even when you take them off at night.
How Long Should I Wear Compression Socks?
When using compression socks for edema, medical professionals usually recommend wearing them every day, especially if you’re on your feet for extended periods. However, anyone can contract foot infections, develop sores, or experience disrupted blood circulation if you wear them for too long. To avoid these complications, it’s important to follow proper hygiene and give your aching legs a break for several hours each day.
During the Day
To treat edema, medical professionals recommend putting your compression socks on first thing in the morning and wearing them until you get ready for bed in the evening. This recommendation means it’s safe to wear compression socks for up to 12 hours a day.
However, if you experience numbness or tingling in your feet or your compression socks begin to feel restrictive, it’s best to remove them and contact your doctor.
It’s not usually necessary to wear compression socks overnight. They’re designed to fight the effects of gravity to improve poor circulation, which isn’t a problem when you’re lying down. Taking the apparel off at night also gives your feet and legs a chance to breathe.
Precautions and Contraindications
Though most people can wear compression socks for edema without putting their health at risk, people with certain conditions should avoid wearing them or ask their doctor before doing so.
Who Should Avoid Compression Socks?
Those with venous ulcers or peripheral vascular disease should not wear compression socks, as the compression could make these conditions worse. If you’re unsure whether it’s safe to wear them, consult your doctor beforehand.
When to Stop Wearing Compression Socks
If you feel numbness or tingling in your feet, your skin starts to chafe, or your socks feel too tight or restrictive, it’s best to stop wearing them and talk to a physician. Your compression socks may be too tight, or you may need an alternative solution.
How Long Is Too Long To Wear Compression Socks?
For hygiene and safety reasons, it’s best not to wear compression socks for edema longer than 12 hours per day. You should wash them regularly, put on a fresh pair daily, and change them during the day if your feet get wet or very sweaty.
Can I Wear Compression Socks for Months or Years?
Yes—it’s safe to wear compression socks daily for several months or years at a time, provided you have no contraindicated health conditions. However, if you plan to wear compression socks long-term, following certain hygiene and sock rotation guidelines is important.
First, you should wash your compression socks frequently to prevent fungal and bacterial infections on your feet and legs. It’s also best to have several pairs on hand so you can put on a fresh one every day. At Nurse Yard, we give you 70% off your second pair of socks to help you stock up more affordably.
Second, even high-quality compression socks wear out with constant use—most are viable for about six months before the compression loses elasticity. It’s best to replace them around the five-month mark to keep your edema at bay.
Can Compression Socks Get Rid of Edema?
Compression socks aren’t a permanent cure for edema—they won’t alleviate the swelling indefinitely. However, they’re an effective temporary treatment for reducing pain, inflammation, and fluid retention in the compressed area.
You can wear compression socks to treat edema temporarily while you seek other, more permanent medical solutions.
How Long Before Compression Socks Reduce Swelling From Edema?
You should begin feeling relief from any pain and discomfort within minutes of putting on your compression socks. Depending on how severe your edema is, the physical inflammation may diminish within a few hours or a few days.
Even if you don’t see visible swelling reduction on the first day of wear, it’s important to take off your socks at night, so your skin can breathe. Wearing your compression socks overnight won’t alleviate discomfort faster—it’ll only put you at risk for sores and infection.
What Compression Level to Choose
Compression socks come in different levels, catering to various needs and medical conditions. These levels, expressed in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), range from mild (8-15 mmHg) for daily comfort to prescription-level (40+ mmHg) for more serious medical conditions.
Mild edema might benefit from a moderate compression level of 15-20 mmHg, while more pronounced swelling typically requires firm compression levels of 20-30 mmHg. In cases of chronic or severe edema, consulting with a healthcare provider for higher compression levels (30-40 mmHg or more) is recommended.
Choose Nurse Yard Compression Socks for Edema
If you want the perfect combination of comfort, compression, and style, Nurse Yard compression socks for edema are the option for you. Lightly cushioned ankles and supported arches protect your joints and prevent chafing, while wave-knit graduated compression gently massages away discomfort and inflammation. Additionally, our no-slip cuff guarantees that, once they’re in place, you’ll never have to adjust them.
These comforting features and our wide range of styles make Nurse Yard compression socks the best choice for treating your edema at home. We provide a wide variety of styles and sizes to accommodate every body and aesthetic. Get your first pair today!