Fashion blogger Marlene on Instagram as @compress_and_impress showed this pic of how she wore her compression garments for her wedding. This prompted a reader online to say, “Lovely… but she has ankles! Once you get the ankle “lip”, compression hose creeps into the folds until you are ripping them off before they completely shut off your circulation.” Barbara also said, “I’d love to find compression hose that would work! Suggestions?”
One of the problems with the treatment options we have for lymphedema and lipedema is that often they cause us great stress and pain. We have to use compression gear that’s anything but comfortable! This chronic bother and pain 24/7 can make even the strongest soul break sometimes, so here at LMS we value anything that helps us deal with the curse of a cure (or treatment).
I don’t have suggestions for the actual hose, though some are made with a lighter material. But I have a couple of things in mind that might help keep the hose out of the lipedema ankle band Barbara is talking about.
Compression Ankle and Foot Wrap
There are several types of compression wraps for the foot and ankle to try. You can get some of these covered by some insurances, or purchase something like this Circaid power added compression band (PAC band) adjustable compression garment for the ankle and arch of the foot.
Be sure to check out the other brands and types of wraps on Amazon as well as other websites.
This will put compression around that ankle and possibly reduce the size of it, especially if you have lymphedema with lipedema, so the band is not so deep. The hope is that it keeps your compression hose from getting stuck in the band if you can reduce the size of your ankle. However, each woman’s ankles are different, band or not, and some will not reduce.
Search for this and other Circaid products on Amazon.
Custom Measured Compression Hose
If you get your compression hose custom measured, you can ask that they give you a little more space right around the ankle so that it does not dig in so hard. This seems too simple, but it has worked well for me in the past.
Please note, for lipedema and lymphedema patients, I do not recommend buying full-length compression hose unless they are custom-measured.
Compression Socks to Smooth the Crevices
You can also try compression socks (or other lightweight socks) under your compression hose. The extra layer might keep the hose from digging in. If you’re looking for an actual compression sock, I’ve found good results with the Circaid compression anklet in a large size. Made from nylon and spandex fabric, they’re thin and easy to use, and the top band does not dig into my skin.
Be aware, a smaller size might dig in if your feet, ankles, and calves are large and/or swollen. I have a size 12 women’s (size 10.5 men’s) foot and the size large are loose enough not to hurt but they still keep swelling down on my foot. I cannot vouch for them on keeping swelling off my ankle though! They’re too loose, but I think a smaller size would be painful for me in particular.
Use Roll-On Adhesive
If you have open-toed compression hose instead of the fully closed at the toe, simply use roll-on adhesive to hold your hose to the top of your foot. This will prevent the hose from sliding back and digging into your ankle.
Personally, I like to wear socks under my open-toed compression hose. I don’t know what brand my socks are so I looked them up on Amazon and found you’ll want low-cut no-show socks similar to these by Ndoobiy. I have not purchased this brand specifically, so I cannot vouch for anything but this being the style you’ll want to find.
I’ve seen women’s socks like these at Payless and possibly Target, but other than those at Payless, I’m not sure how thin they are. Thin socks under your compression gear are important, as well as no bulky seams that dig in. You may also purchase Bombas no-show socks because of their exceptional comfort. If you use this link to Bombas, you get 25% off.
And finally, The Lipedema Society‘s social media account on Facebook mentions, “Of course, the experience one has with compression garments varies from woman to woman depending on their own specific case of lipedema. No two journeys of lipedema are exactly the same,” so some or all of these may not work for you to ease the ankle pain due to compression garments. But give them a try and then comment and tell us your results! Or if you have another idea or brand of compression gear that’s worked for you, we’d love to hear about it.
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