There are rather more types of compression stockings for varicose veins available than the traditional image of this rather maligned treatment garment would suggest.
While the traditional image is of tight beige knitted cotton gradually wrinkling at the ankles, there are now a wide range of highly supportive stockings and tights available in a variety of colours that might actually lead the casual observer to believe that you are not actually wearing compression garments at all.
While this obviously is not as obvious an issue for men, there are still a decent range of good, effective products available that will still deliver the relief and comfort that you need.
The way that compression stocking works is to put pressure on the skin all the way up the leg to effectively squeeze the blood up towards the heart. In someone without varicose veins, the venous valves work to prevent blood from flowing backwards however with a varicose vein the blood leaks back through the damaged valve, obeying gravity, to pool in the vein and cause the stretching that makes the vein show from beneath the skin.
Although there is significant evidence to support that support stockings provide relief from the discomfort of varicose veins, the evidence is inconclusive as to whether they prevent new ones from appearing.
That said, the evidence may also be inconclusive because people are not quite as disciplined about wearing them at all times as they could be as they can be uncomfortable, (particularly when the weather is warm) and can make the skin on your legs dry. If this happens, it is advised that you apply a moisturiser or emollient cream before bed after taking the stockings off.
While the compression stockings that you receive from your doctor or specialist may be rather utilitarian in nature, if you wish to, there are a lot of decent products out there that do not look overtly medical.
It is usual for Compression stockings for varicose veins to be prescribed in either a light or medium level of compression and with different lengths and foot styles available, you can more often than not, find the fit that is best and most comfortable for you. There are also compression tights available that come in a variety of colours, sizes and finishes and there are a number of places on-line where you can purchase these products.
Compression stockings need to be put on from the moment that the patient gets until just before they go to bed as they need to worn at all times, as well as being worn in the correct manner to ensure that maximum benefit is derived from wearing them. Because the amount of compression varies over the length of the stocking, it is important to make sure that they are pulled up properly and that each part of the leg is compressed where it should be.
If they are not worn properly, the stocking may either dig in or fall down. Custom made varicose vein compression stockings are also available and these can be very helpful for people who find the standard ones uncomfortable to wear, however this will require the patient to be measured, preferably in the morning, before any swelling can occur that may skew the fit of the garment.