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What Do Compression Socks Do?

Jun 30, 2021
You may have been prescribed, or have at least heard of, compression socks, but what exactly are they and how do they work?

You may have been prescribed, or have at least heard of, compression socks, but what exactly are they and how do they work? Compression socks or stockings are socks of different lengths that apply pressure to the legs which promotes better blood circulation. They can also lessen pain and swelling, as well as lower your chances of getting a blood clot. Here are some key reasons Dr. David Verebelyi may prescribe the use of compression socks.

What Do Compression Socks Do?


*Individual Results May Vary.

There are three kinds of compression socks, each of which have different purposes:

Graduated compression socks have the strongest compression at the ankle with decreasing pressure up the legs. These socks are intended for mobility and should be professionally fitted to your individual measurements. Graduated compression socks that stop below the knee reduce the swelling in the lower legs where fluid buildup is common. Those that extend up the thigh or go to the waist reduce blood pooling and prevent orthostatic hypotension, which is low blood pressure occurring when you stand up.

Anti-embolism socks reduce the possibility of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition where clots form in deep veins, typically in the legs. They also provide gradient pressure, but the level may differ, and they’re specifically for patients who aren’t mobile.

Non-medical support hosiery are sometimes described as flight socks and provide relief for tired or aching legs. Their compression is uniform and because they don’t require a prescription, they don’t provide quite as much pressure. 


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Benefits of Compression Socks

Compression socks are most often prescribed after a venous procedure, such as sclerotherapy, Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA), Endovenous Radiofrequency Vein Ablation (EVRF), vein removal, or VenaSeal™ vein closure.

Boost circulation in your legs and support veins. Sometimes, gravity and poor circulation lead to your veins struggling to return blood to your heart. This puts undue pressure on the vessels in your legs, which can lead to venous insufficiency. Compression stockings minimize this.

Diminish swelling in the legs. This can be caused by many things, like sitting for too long, standing for too long, medications, DVT, poor lymphatic drainage, and more. Compression socks increase the pressure on the leg tissues, which in turn increases fluid absorption by the capillaries and lymph vessels. Swelling is diminished and the overall health of your legs improves.

Prevent sudden changes in blood pressure, such as when standing from a seated or lying position. This helps prevent falls, lightheadedness, dizziness, or balance issues.

Prevent DVT and venous ulcers, which can lead to greater health problems. Poor wound healing is a serious concern if left untreated, with complications like infection, cellulitis, gangrene, and eventually amputation. DVT is a serious condition where blood clots form deep in the legs. It can become fatal if the clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs or heart.

Reduce pain caused by varicose veins, which are twisted, bulging, enlarged veins caused by valve damage within the vein. Compression socks reduce pain caused by varicose veins by helping the valves function properly so blood flow back to the heart is unobstructed.

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Take the Next Step

To request information on compression socks or to schedule a consultation with us, please call (303) 683-3235 or fill out our online contact form today. Colorado Skin & Vein serves Englewood and the greater Denver, CO area.