Compression socks and garments have been a wonder for those suffering from circulation-related pain. From helping expecting mums to world-class athletes and everyone in between, compression socks have been prized for their ability to reduce swelling and increase blood flow.
As compression experts, one of the most common questions we get is “Can wearing compression socks be harmful?”, and this blog post is designed to help you better understand the safety and risks associated with wearing compression garments.
Can Wearing Compression Socks Be Harmful?
The short answer is no - they can't be harmful with correct wear. But that doesn’t mean everyone should wear compression socks every day. We always suggest consulting with your doctor before using any compression socks if you suffer from any illness or are taking any medication. While compression socks can aid with several conditions including deep vein thrombosis, blood clots and oedema, you should always check in with your healthcare provider prior to wear. Taking extra care to ensure you are purchasing the right size sock is imperative to your safety and comfort.
How Many Hours a Day Should You Wear Compression Socks?
Compression socks should be worn throughout the day and removed at night time. There is no limit to the amount of time you should keep your socks on, as long as you are remaining upright. When you start wearing compression socks though, you should only wear them as long as they feel comfortable. Some people find it beneficial to gradually increase the length of time that they wear the socks.
It's important to remove your socks before going to sleep, as they function differently without the upright pressure of standing or sitting. Wearing your compression socks to bed can have negative effects such as reduced circulation, joint pain, and overheating, so be sure to take them off at the end of the day.
Potential Risks of Compression Socks
While there are risks associated with wearing compression gear, many of them can be mitigated by ensuring they are properly fitted and worn correctly.
- Skin irritation: Compression socks that are not properly fitted can cause redness, irritation and even bruising if worn for long periods of time as the fabric rubs against skin.
- Reduced circulation: Compression stockings worn at nighttime or while lying down can negatively affect the circulation of your ankles, legs and feet.
- Skin chafing: For those with a sensitive skin barrier, tight materials such as compression socks may cause chafing of the skin. Using a high-quality moisturiser beforehand can help ease the symptoms of chafing.
Note: The information provided here is for general use and is not intended to act as medical advice. We advise anyone interested in this subject to seek qualified, professional advice.