Wearing compression garments
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It’s important to wear your compression garment all day, but usually it can be taken off at night when you’re lying down and resting.
When you start wearing a compression garment for the first time, wear it for a few hours the first day. Then gradually build up the time you wear it for each day, until you can keep it on for most of the day. This way you will become gradually used to the feeling and pressure of the garment against your skin.
If you’re travelling a long distance, especially by air, make sure you wear it for the full length of the journey and for some hours afterwards.
You should be given at least two garments so that you can have one in the wash while you wear the other. The manufacturer will supply washing instructions. Worn every other day, they usually last between 4–6 months.
If your compression garment is too loose, it won’t control swelling and needs to be refitted. If it’s too tight, it will restrict blood flow. If you get pins and needles or pain, or your fingers or toes change colour, it’s too tight. Remove it straight away and contact your lymphoedema specialist for advice. It’s important that you’re properly measured and fitted to prevent these problems from happening.