Compression stockings are meant to stay up and help alleviate the condition for which you bought them. If they keep sliding down the legs, the chances are that you will not get the benefits for which they are worn.
Here are the main reasons why compression stockings / socks begin to slip, and what you can do about it.
Dirt, oil, sweat and dead skin
Dirt particles, body oils, dead skin, and sweat collect on the compression stockings every time you wear them. These particles affect the elasticity of the elastic threads that keep the stockings in position. Consider washing the stockings after wearing them to keep them clean. You will realise that the elastic bands tend to regain their elasticity as soon as you wash and dry them. You can wash and reuse your compression stockings for a period before the bands lose their elasticity.
Poor washing methods
Refrain from washing your stockings in the washing machine with other garments. The wringing action of the washing machine causes the stockings to lose their elasticity and the threads to run down the length of the stockings.
Hand washing is the best method of washing the stocking. Use warm water and mild washing soap. Some harsh detergents may damage the threads of your stocking. Do not use any bleach or fabric conditioner as they also damage the fabric. Use a towel to pat the stockings dry rather than wringing them which stretches the fabric.
Clean the silicone bands with the use of cotton balls dipped in alcohol at least once or twice a week. Regular washing does not remove all the dirt from the silicone band. The alcohol solution dislodges the stubborn dirt particles for easy removal. A clean silicone band hangs onto the legs longer than a dirty silicone band.
On cleaning the stockings, pat them dry using a towel. Lie them flat to dry. Hanging the stockings is likely to stretch them and shorten their lifespan. Do not dry them in a vent either as high temperatures are likely to damage the fabric of the stockings.
They could be bigger than your legs
Some people mistakenly choose bigger sized stockings for their ease of wearing. Unfortunately, this makes the stockings unable to compress the legs effectively, the reason for which they are worn. Moreover, the stockings keep sliding down the legs as the elastic bands are not tight enough to wrap around your legs. You may also have grown thinner with time and the stockings that were fitting you no longer fit you tightly.
Always buy compression stockings that are the range of the circumference of your legs. They may feel a little tight when you start wearing them. However, they tend to loosen up after washing up for a few times. If your legs have grown thinner over time, you should consider buying another pair of stockings.
You should measure the circumference of your legs before buying a new pair of compression stockings. Initially, you may notice that the legs swell after wearing the compression stocking for several hours. However, the swelling may subside after wearing the stockings for several days. You may need to buy a small pair of compression stockings.
Your stockings may be old and worn out
The compression stockings are generally effective for a period of between four to six months. If you have been wearing the stockings for a period longer than this, your stockings may be worn out, loose, and less effective in offering compression.
Always mark your calendar on the date you first use your stockings so that you plan when to purchase the next pair. You may have to purchase another pair soon or later than the four to six months depending on how well you hand your stockings.
You do not spread the stockings evenly on your legs
The stockings should be evenly spread on your legs. Do not just pull the upper parts of the stockings up your legs. You may overstretch the area below the silicone band. Since the upper part of your legs is broader than the ankle region, uneven spreading causes the fabric to stretch on the upper part of the stockings and cause them to slide down your legs.
You have chubby knees
There are people with soft skin behind their knees. The knee high stockings may not stay up for long and could roll down. The same happens to people with thin thighs as they are not able to hold thigh high compression stockings. Determine the size of your thighs or if you have a soft skin behind the knees. In both cases, consider going for tighter stockings to get rid of the problem.
You pull the silicone band too much when wearing your stockings
Wearing the compression stocking is quite a struggle. They are tight and may take lots of effort to pull them up. Some people pull the elastic band too much that they damage the elastic bands. The bands to do spring back to shape when you release the band. If you have problems wearing your compression stockings, consider purchasing the donning gloves. These are soft rubber gloves clipped onto the stockings so that you can pull them up with ease. They speed up the time it takes to wear the stockings and lowers the risk of damage to the stockings when pulling them up.
You are creaming your body a lot before wearing your compression stockings
If you apply a lot of cream on your legs, the skin becomes oily or slippery. The stockings will not hold onto the skin. Where possible, do not apply any creams to the legs after taking a shower. Wait for about three minutes after wiping them dry with a towel to dry off any moisture that might be left on the skin. If you must apply some lotion, apply sparingly to the skin.
Use a garter belt, body adhesives and pantyhose
A garter belt is a waist attachment for compression stockings. They keep the stockings up by latching on to your waist and attaching to the stockings at the upper thighs. Alternatively, you can go for body adhesives. These adhesives are made of a hypoallergenic material. You stick the material onto the edge of the stockings to attach them to your skin.
You may also go for a pantyhose. It helps you wear the compression socks up to the waist effectively keeping the compression stockings in place for the whole of the day. This is the easiest method of ensuring that the stockings stay in place all the time.
Compression stockings should always be up your legs for you to experience their benefits.
Use the above methods to prevent the stockings from sliding down the leg. Maintain the silicone elastic band at the top carefully as it determines whether the compression stockings offer effective compression. It is important to measure your legs before purchasing the new compression stockings. This will save you from purchasing stockings that are too tight or too lose for your legs.