A new study looked at the difference in treating leg ulcers with bandages versus compression stockings. While both treatments are effective in healing leg ulcers, the study found that compression stockings are often a less expensive treatment and better for legs long term.
The trial, conducted by researchers from the universities of Manchester and York monitored 454 people using either compression stockings or traditional bandages to treat leg ulcers.
Venous leg ulcers are chronic wounds that occur because of damage or blockage to leg veins which subsequently causes skin breakdown. Leg ulcers are painful and chronic, recurring often.
Bandages apply pressure to the wound and have been a traditional form of treatment for leg ulcers. It takes time to apply them correctly, and they often require frequent nurse visits to change the bandages. Bandages are applied in many layers that can become bulky, interfering with clothing and footwear.
Compression stockings work in a similar way – applying pressure to the wound and increasing circulation to help heal the wound. While a nurse is often needed to apply compression stockings on a patient, many patients learn to don them independently, saving expense on nurse visits. The study also reported less ulcer recurrence after using the stockings.
But, the study also found that not everyone liked to wear the stockings – more participants changed from compression stockings to another treatment compared with those in the bandage group.
Both compression stockings and bandages were found to heal leg ulcers in the same amount of time. So ultimately, the choice of treatment is based on your comfort. What will you wear consistently so that your legs have time to heal?