Blood Clots

Can Compression Socks Cause Blood Clots?

It is undeniable that compression socks can do wonders in relieving pain and reducing swelling and can be of immense help in recovery and therapy. It has a significant part in the administration of venous problems like venous ulcers and the prevention of thromboembolic infection of the deep veins in the legs.
Although the use of compression socks may not seem to pose any danger, using support socks that are inappropriate for your medical condition may have an adverse effect on your health. These are the things you need to be cautious about before considering getting a pair of compression socks.

1. How Compression Stockings Work

Compression or support socks are made of an elastic material to apply pressure on the legs. As pressure is being applied, dilated veins get constricted with the help of muscle tissues. When dilated veins are back to their average size, blood flow gets corrected, and with this, many symptoms such as swelling, pain, muscle weakness, and many others are addressed.
On the other hand, compression socks, stockings, and sleeves have different pressure levels, and every level is designated for a specific medical condition. Compression socks with the lowest pressure level can be used without prescription with the choice of graduated pressure level or stationary.

2. Can Compression Socks Cause Health Problems

A supposed medical treatment intended to cure should not pose any danger so long as it’s administered or used correctly. However, individuals and sometimes medical practitioners commit mistakes in using or applying treatments and medications.

According to a study released by the American Journal of Nursing, compression socks and/or stockings were incorrectly used on 29% of patients. And about 26% of patients were ill-fitted with the same support garment.

This is why product instructions and doctor’s supervision are essential to follow due to adverse effects.

3. Side Effects of Compression Socks

As mentioned, if compression sleeves, socks, or stockings are misused, it may cause some medical problems. And here are some of the possible adverse effects when using support socks:
  • Interference with blood circulation - using compression socks that are too tight or too small may interfere with blood circulation at the legs. This is similar to how a tourniquet works. Therefore, it impedes the blood flow and may cause swelling, pain, and even more.
  • Chafing and bruising on the legs - ill-fitted socks, too small in this case, can cause bruising. On the other hand, materials that are not suitable for your skin type may cause chafing due to the skin's reaction, especially right at the seams.
  • Irritation - itching, redness, and irritation can also occur because of the material, or you're wearing the stockings for too long without giving time for your skin to breathe. Covering your skin for days on end will create germ buildup due to sebum and bacteria, which will undoubtedly cause skin irritation.

4. Can Wearing Compression Socks Cause a Blood Clot

There is a more serious adverse effect in wearing compression socks: blood clotting. For this reason, wearing the right fit is necessary because this is a dangerous health risk.
When you wear compression socks that are too tight to the point that blood cannot flow properly, a blood clot can occur, thus causing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Wearing ill-fitted compression socks for more than 24 hours can further aggravate the situation.
Best Practices
You can always avoid the harmful effects of compression socks by doing these simple things.
  • Wear the correct size by having your legs and foot measured.
  • Wash your support socks regularly with your hands to keep their form.
  • Remove socks and let your feet and legs breathe.
  • Dispose of socks when it's already worn out.
  • Get another fitting if you gain weight.
  • Follow product instructions or doctor's advice carefully when wearing compression socks.
Finally, remember that all it takes is for you to be well-informed on proper use and how to care for your socks. If done correctly, you will surely avoid any unnecessary medical problems that can occur when using compression socks.

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