As we age, our veins may not work as efficiently, leading to swelling due to excess fluid in our legs, says Cary Zinkin, DPM, podiatric physician in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
Poor circulation is one of the most common reasons for fluid retention in the legs. Signs of poor circulation include legs or feet that are dusky in color, cold to the touch, or swollen.
If circulation issues are causing swelling in your legs, compression stockings can help move this water-type fluid back into your blood vessels. They can also keep blood from pooling in your legs and feet, says Zinkin.
You’ll want to put on your compression stockings as soon as you wake, and before you get out of bed, if possible, because swelling will be at a minimum. It will be easier to put them on, and you’ll lessen the fluid buildup throughout the day.
For mild swelling, your podiatrist may recommend light compression stockings that you can buy at your local pharmacy. If you have severe fluid buildup, you may need compression stockings designed specifically for you.
If you have peripheral artery disease (PAD), talk with your podiatrist to determine if compression stockings are safe. (Read more on PAD here.)
Once you’ve gotten the OK to wear compression stockings, check with your insurer to see if they’re covered. Then check out these options to spice up your wardrobe:
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