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The GGW Weekly Scoop

How Varicose Veins Affect Hosiery Options

How Varicose Veins Affect Hosiery Options

Many people are affected by varicose veins in the legs -- enlarged twisted veins that develop close to the surface of the skin. More than simply a cosmetic concern, varicose veins are a health issue because they can cause a great amount of discomfort for the people affected by them.

I know because I have had varicose veins all my adult life. I suffer from Chronic Vein Disease, and over the years have had multiple surgeries and rounds of sclerotherapy injections. In fact, I believe I have another series of injections beginning soon.

Varicose veins can be a real problem for a great many of us, and that’s why so many people with varicose veins take proactive steps to protect our health from this degenerative condition. One factor we consider is legwear.

We worry if it’s safe to continue to wear control top pantyhose or shaping garments.  We wonder how to cover up varicose veins effectively. We consider pants!  Ultimately, we fear that varicose veins will force us to give up our sense of fashion just to take care of our health.

Fear not!  The good news is that when it comes to hosiery, those of us with varicose veins actually have a lot of great options.

Not only is it safe for us to continue to wear our usual favourite fashion hosiery styles -- even control top and shaping hosiery -- there is an entire range of compression hosiery specifically designed to help those of us who are suffering from varicose veins, and other conditions such as tired achy legs, deep vein thrombosis, leg ulcers, lymphodema, and pregnancy!

Many fashion hosiery brands offer a full range of light compression pantyhose, tights, knee-highs, and socks, that look the same as the regular fashion lines, and are perfect for people who have mild varicose veins.

At Girdleliscious Gam Wrappers, we are pleased to offer our customers fashionable light compression hosiery. Shop now for our 40 denier knee highs, and our selection of 40 denier and 100 denier tights

For those with more serious varicose veins, prescription-strength compression hosiery is available.  The lightest compression hosiery often ranges from 10 mmHg at the foot to 5 mmHg at the top, whereas the firmest compression hosiery often ranges from 46 mmHg at the foot to 34 mmHg at the top.

Prescription-strength compression hosiery must be professionally fitted, and is much more expensive than other hosiery. Fortunately, many extended healthcare benefits plans will cover the cost of this medical device garment.

I was introduced to prescription compression hosiery when I went in for my first surgery at the age of 32: a dual high ligation of the saphenous veins.  There was nothing fashionable at all about my $100 dollar-per-leg thigh high compression stockings -- thick textured nude legs with wide industrial-strength Velcro waistbands. FYI, I had to wear my panties on the outside!

Those of us with varicose veins do not necessarily need to wear compression hosiery every day -- but there are certain occasions when it is highly recommended.

1. When flying in an airplane.

Cabin pressure changes can cause varicose veins to become painful and problematic. It can also cause blood clots to form and/or dislodge.

2. When sitting all day.

The calf muscle helps pump blood back to the heart, but when we are seated for long periods, it doesn’t get the chance to do its job, causing blood to pool in the legs & feet.

3. When pregnant.

Pregnancy increases a woman’s risk of developing varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis, due to the pressure of the fetal head compressing the iliac veins, and hindering the outflow of blood from the legs.

The truth is, having varicose veins does not need to limit our legwear possibilities!  Not only can we still pull off all the trendy styles we’ve always loved to show off, there are also fashionable compression hosiery choices designed specifically for us!  Now, we can feel good & look great as we proactively take care of our leg health!