It can be really hard to find a sheer stocking that perfectly compliments your skin tone. Sigvaris recently added some new color options and gave us great tips on how to choose the perfect stocking. Check it out:
The Sigvaris EverSheer Collection comes in three compression levels and a variety of gorgeous sheer color options (as shown above). Choose from knee highs, thigh highs or pantyhose. EverSheer stockings are made with double-covered yarns for increased durability, ease of donning, and a less shiny appearance.
Now that you have a general idea of the sheer color you need, here are a few more brands to check out:
Another customer favorite is the Medi Sheer & Soft line. These knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose come in a variety of colors and four compression levels. Made from a soft, moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool and comfortable. Medi Sheer & Soft offers some of the sheerest hosiery on the market. These fabulous stockings are available in different lengths and maternity styles too!
The EASE Collection is relatively new to Therafirm. Available in Sheer, Opaque and Microfiber, the EASE line features soft, stretchy, and easy to don compression garments. These stockings are available in three compression levels and two lengths. Choose from a variety of colors to complete the perfect look.
The Jobst UltraSheer line is another customer favorite. These compression stockings come in knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose and maternity options. Available in a variety of colors and come in two lengths. Made from a durable, lightweight fabric.
Looking for sheer stockings on a budget? Allegro comes in fewer color options, but offers sheer knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose and maternity stockings at a very affordable price point. These soft, durable stockings come in three compression levels and are even safe to machine wash and dry! Full calf options are available.
If you still have questions about which sheer stocking is best for you, our team of certified fitters is happy to assist you. Just send us a an email or give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 M-F 9am-6pm EST. Thanks for reading!
If you have large legs finding compression stockings that fit well can be a challenge. For people with cone shaped legs, rolling and sliding is often a problem. There are solutions for both of these issues.
Large or Thick Legs
Most manufacturers make wide-calf styles designed for customers with larger legs.
The largest knee high and thigh high available is now in the Sigvaris Secure Line. The calf sizing goes up to 74 cm (slightly over 29″) and the max thigh is 102 cm (about 40″). The Secure products are made to manage strong edema – swelling that does not do well in thinner fabrics like sheer or microfiber. While the fabric is incredibly strong, it is still breathable and comfortable to wear. With its precise sizing, you are guaranteed to get a perfect fit in this product. Available in 20-30, 30-40 and 40-50 mmHg.
The Sigvaris Comfort PLUS is another great option – it’s softer and stretchier, but the containment is not as high as the Secure line. It comes in 20-30 mmHg and 30-40 mmHg. The X-Large size in this product can fit a calf up to 28″ around and they come in short and long lengths.
Therafirm Core-Spun products are a great option for larger legs. Core-Spun Knee High Socks are available for men and women. The largest size will accommodate a 17 inch ankle with up to a 25.5 inch calf. Core-Spun Thigh Highs are now available in sizes up to XXXL. They will fit an ankle up to 19″ in circumference, and a thigh up to 39.5″. Core-Spun Thigh Highs are designed for men and women, come in three compression levels and two colors: black and white. Sizes XL-XXXL are offered in the 15-20 and 20-30mmHg compressions only. You can see where you’d fit on the size chart below:
Allegro Surgical Weight Knee Highs 20-30mmHg are available in Wide-Calf sizes that fit a calf circumference up to 26 inches and an ankle up to 15.5 inches. The Surgical Thigh High and Allegro Sheer Thigh Highs are sized up to XXX-Large to fit a 15.5 inch ankle and 36 inch thigh. A customer who purchased the Surgical Weight Knee highs said, “This product fit perfectly and I have really big calves… not too tight – comfortable. Wore them all day!” The Allegro products are a great, affordable option for most customers.
Juzo has begun carrying a line of Varin Max products designed for larger legs. Size V will fit an ankle up to 14 inches, a calf up to 26 inches and a thigh up to 37 inches. The Max line is available in 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg in knee highs and thigh highs.
When I first heard this term, I thought, “Well, nearly everyone has a cone-shaped leg – the ankle is always smaller than the thigh.” But, that is not the shape we’re speaking of when it comes to socks and stockings. When you measure your legs, most people will find that their knee circumference is smaller than the widest point of the calf. In a cone-shaped leg, the measurements do not decrease at any point as you move up the leg – the calf and knee are about the same measurement.
If your leg is cone-shaped, compression knee highs have a tendency to roll or slide. A sticky silicone top-band will typically solve this problem. Knee highs with silicone top-bands are available in 15-20, 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg.
Both Jobst and Mediven have launched a new design of the silicone top band where they use sticky silicone fibers that are woven through the top band. This creates a more gentle hold against the skin. The Mediven product is called Vitality and Jobst is called SoftFit.
If you still have difficulty keeping the silicone top band in place, using a light adhesive at the band is a great option. It Stays is a water-soluble skin glue that is hypo-allergenic and safe for all compression stockings. It’s available in a 2oz roll-on bottle. A dab or two of It Stays will keep your knee highs and thigh highs up all day.
The Sigvaris Secure collection provides excellent compression and containment. These hybrid garments are similar to the Sigvaris Natural Rubber (503) Collection, except the Secure line is made latex free. Additionally, Secure stockings are available with an open or closed toe, and are made from a soft, opaque fabric that is safe to machine wash and dry. Features double-covered yarns to ensure no spandex touches the skin.
The Secure line is available in knee highs and thigh highs for both men and women, and comes in three compression levels: 20-30, 30-40, and 40-50 mmHg compression. All Secure garments feature a dotted silicone top band to keep the stockings comfortably in place all day.
The Sigvaris Secure collection offers some of the largest ready-to-wear sizes on the market, even fitting a thigh up to 40 inches! These garments can be a great alternative to custom stockings when a higher compression level, bigger size, or more containment is needed. (Always check with your doctor to see what is best for you!) The Secure line is available in regular and full sizes, and comes in beige or black.
Click here to try Sigvaris Secure today! Want to learn more? Watch the video below for more information:
For the third year in a row, BrightLife Direct is giving back to the physical therapy community by providing a scholarship to help an aspiring physical therapist continue their education.
The 2018 BrightLife Physical Therapist Scholarship was open to all students studying to be an occupational therapist, physical therapist or assistant. We received so many wonderful applications from students who are incredibly passionate about helping their community and returning their patients to a state of independence.
With so many amazing occupational and physical therapy students all working to improve the lives of others in their own way, it was challenging to choose a winner. The recipient of this year’s scholarship is one that is very deserving. It is our pleasure to congratulate Miriam Janove as this year’s Physical Therapist scholarship recipient.
Miriam is a student at the University of Puget Sound pursuing a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. She is also a certified lymphedema therapist and actively volunteers at clinics and hospitals, both locally and abroad. Miriam was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was younger, and was advised to see a physical therapist who told her “there is no reason you can’t do anything anyone else can do.” Those words made all the difference to her. That experience inspired Miriam to grow up and study to become a physical therapist herself!
She loves to help people and is always looking to learn more. Upon graduation, Miriam plans to help children and the elderly with a focus on those with the least amount of access. Her goal is to help people with limited independence regain the strength to perform daily tasks without the aid of another.
“Several of my massage clients had lymphedema which inspired me to become a certified lymphedema therapist through the Vodder School, broadening my skills and knowledge about the body. I continue to learn more through my clinical internships in the DPT program. I have advanced my career into the field of physical therapy to access more knowledge and tools to get to the root of patients’ problems.” – Miriam Janove (excerpt from essay)
We are very proud of Miriam, and we wish her all the best in her journey. This scholarship was created to help ease the financial burden of students and give back to this dedicated community of professionals. We received many fantastic applications and praise all of those who applied for their hard work and passion.
BrightLife Direct is excited to announce we are now sponsoring Brylan’s Feat Foundation! This amazing organization is a financial resource to children in need of lymphedema treatment. Brylan’s Feat Foundation aids these families in providing the garments necessary to manage lymphedema.
This young girl was the inspiration that started it all. Brylan was born with lymphedema in her leg and has been wearing compression garments since she was 11 months old. Since she is so young and has a lot of room to grow, that means a LOT of garments. The cost for custom garments is even more than ready-to-wear options, which can take a big toll financially. Knowing that other people are in the same situation, Brylan’s mother, Brittany, founded Brylan’s Feat Foundation to help families acquire the necessary compression garments and wraps for their kids.
Lymphedema is characterized by chronic swelling, which occurs most often in the arm or leg. Some people are born with lymphedema, and others develop it after removal or damage to the lymph nodes, such as undergoing breast cancer treatment. Lymphedema can be managed with regular use of compression garments, manual lymph drainage, or other techniques. Without wearing compression garments, the swelling can get worse, and there is an increased risk of infection.
This wonderful organization is helping to change the lives of so many children. We are honored to have a part in it. Many families struggle to afford compression garments and they are not often covered by insurance. We are happy to sponsor Brylan’s Feat to help change this. Please help get the word out about this fantastic financial resource to aid children with lymphedema!
We’ve all been there. Compression socks can be hard to get on and off, especially when you’re dealing with a higher compression or full length pantyhose. It can be even harder in the heat of summer. We put together some tips to help you get your compression socks off quickly and easily.
To get your compression socks off, whether they are knee high, thigh high, or pantyhose, grab them from the top of the stocking where the fabric is – NOT the top band. If you grab the stockings by the top band, they can rip, so be sure you are holding the fabric of the stocking – not the silicone top band.
Once you have a grip on the sock, slowly fold the stocking down your leg, almost like peeling a banana. You should then be able to slip it right off your foot. Here’s a quick video on how to take your compression socks off:
Donning gloves are great to use to get your socks on and off. These gloves protect the fabric and help you to get a better grip. (These work miracles in hotter weather!) There are also tools to help get your stockings off that work like a charm. See how our top rated doffing aids work below:
Still struggling or have questions? Give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 and we’ll talk you through it. Want to get your compression socks back on faster? Check out these tips to get your compression socks on without the hassle!
If you’ve watched all the videos on properly putting on your compression socks and you’re still having trouble, this blog is for you. Let’s face it – pulling on compression stockings is a challenge. Before you spend another 30 minutes fighting to get your socks on, try out some of these tips, tricks and tools to help you get your socks on fast and easy.
This video demonstrates three different ways to put your compression stockings on – the heel pocket method, wearing donning gloves, and using a stocking donner:
The heel pocket method is a great way to get on stockings made from a thick fabric or socks that provide a high level of compression (over 20 mmHg). Don sheer or less firm compression socks with donning gloves to protect delicate fabric from snags and runs. Donning gloves are great for anyone with limited hand mobility, arthritis, or have weak hands or fingers to get a better grip on the fabric. These gloves are the easiest, cheapest and most effective tool available to help you put your compression socks on.
The Jobst donning glove is unique because it is actually a cotton mitt with the palm and fingers dipped in a latex solution to grip onto support hose. It is a loose fitting glove which can be easier to put on for people with limited hand mobility. On the downside, there are no ridges or nubs on the latex which limits it’s ability to move stockings up the leg. We have heard from customers that this glove wears out too quickly.
If you are sensitive or allergic to rubber (latex), try the latex free Juzo donning gloves. These gloves work excellent for protecting the fabric, but do not have any nubs to help grip the garment. If you want something that will get a strong hold on the sock, try these:
The Medi glove has textured fingers and palms for additional gripping power to help you get the compression stocking over your foot and heel. Then you can use your palms to slide the hose up your legs rather than pulling. The Sigvaris glove is our highest-rated glove and features very pronounced ridges that makes it easy to don stockings and armsleeves. Here’s what our customer’s have to say about Sigvaris gloves:
“These are the best donning gloves that I and/or my patients have found for compression stockings of all materials and compression amount. I have been working with patients who have Lymphedema and are required to wear high amounts of compression. It’s a struggle to get them on even when you have the strength and mobility, so these gloves are a great aide for everyone. The price is very reasonable compared to other compression stockings manufacturers.”
If you have trouble bending over or crossing your legs, stocking donners do the work for you. Donners come in regular and wide-calf sizes, as well as some for putting on armsleeves and pantyhose. Long story short – there’s a donning device to make anyone’s life easier! Stocking donners require patience and practice, and are most useful for individuals who have trouble bending at the waist. Since there a lot of donners to choose from, we’ll cover our customer’s favorites.
Sigvaris launched the SIMON donning aide in 2018 – and it has been getting amazing feedback from customers. The SIMON is convenient for a number of reasons – its long arms are perfect for anyone with limited bend at the waist or strength in their hands and arms. Unlike many of the bulky donners on the market, it can fold down for easy storage or travel. It can be used for knee highs, pantyhose and thigh highs – it can also be used to help take your stockings OFF. This is available in four different sizes – based on your calf measurement. Check out the video below to see just how magical it is:
Early reviews from our customers say it’s revolutionary! A customer in Arizona said,
“Easiest and most useful donner I’ve ever tried. Can’t live without it so I just called and ordered another one.”
The Jobst and Medi stocking donners have the classic fixed style that our customers have been using for years. Simply stretch the stocking over the frame and step into the sock until your foot is on the floor. Slowly lift the handles to work the stocking up your leg. Both Jobst and Medi offer donners designed specifically for larger calves. Here’s how it works:
The Doff N’ Donner is an amazing tool! This can be used to get your stockings on and to take them off. This cool device works with open or closed toe knee highs and thigh highs. Watch this video for a better understanding:
Once you master using the Juzo Slippie Gator, you’ll be incredibly happy with it. This tool is especially useful for customers who have a lot of trouble bending over to touch their feet. Using a leg sleeve with handles and a rubber foot pad, you’ll be able to quickly and comfortably pull your stocking on in minutes. Like the Doff ‘n Donner, the Gator can be used to put stockings on and take them off.
A healthcare worker told us, “I bought the Juzo Slippy Gator to try with some of my clients. Most people I work on can’t bend over, much less pull compression socks up. The Gator is a great tool and has moved two of my clients to independently donning their socks.”
Watch this video to learn how to use the Juzo Slippie Gator:
The Easy-Slide for Open-Toe Stockings is only available for open toe socks and stockings, but it is simple to use and makes putting open-toe socks on a breeze. It’s getting rave reviews from customers and therapists alike.
“This device makes placing compression stockings on my patients a breeze. No more pinching, no more struggling to place the stockings on the patient. Saves me quite a bit of time in my busy day.”
The Juzo Slippie and the Easy-Slides for open and closed toe use slippery and durable “parachute” nylon fabric that you put on your leg and pull the stocking over. Using your new favorite donning gloves, work the stocking up the leg and pull the donning aid out from the top of the stocking or through the open toe. If you wear closed toe stockings, make sure you are using a donning aid designed specifically for closed toe style stockings.
Tips and Tricks:
Once the stocking is in the right position, use the palms of your hands to smooth out any wrinkles. Your stocking is applied correctly if the toe is in the toe box, the heel in the heel box and their are no wrinkles around the ankles or leg. Ideally, your knee-high should end about one inch below the crease in your knee. Never pull the stocking up the calf or thigh by just the top of the garment.
If you have swelling or edema, it is best to don your stockings early in the morning when you get out of bed. Our legs start to swell while we are standing and the compression stockings applied early will keep the swelling down throughout the day.
Before you put your compression socks on, apply baby powder, corn starch or Alps Fitting Lotion to help the stocking glide up your leg more easily. As an added bonus, this lotion protects sensitive skin and makes dry, chapped skin feel silky and smooth.
I’ve been wearing compression hose for 5-6 years now and they used to be a major nightmare to put them on! As soon as I tried the ALPS Fitting Lotion everything changed. Now putting on the hose is as easy as putting on a pair of socks–they just slide right on smooth as silk. ALPS has no odor and seems to protect my skin from some of the dryness and irritation that continuous wear of compression stockings have caused me in the past and a little goes a long long way. It’s an awesome product… a definite buy buy buy! Also BrightLife Direct is a great company with which to work. I can’t recommend them highly enough! You can’t go wrong.
Compression Assist Donning Aide is great if you have no problem bending over to reach your feet but still have a lot of trouble pulling the sock up. Spray your legs with the lubricant before putting on your socks or stockings, and see how easily you are able to pull the sock up! Compression Assist is hypoallergenic and it won’t harm the compression sock fabric. Plus, it reduces wrinkles and creases, all while keeping you comfortable. Here’s what our customers are saying:
“I was somewhat leery of ordering “Compression Assist”. I was starting to get accustomed to taking 15 plus minutes to don each sock. I was pleasantly surprised. It now takes just a few minutes and much of that time is smoothing the sock.”
Do you have another tool that helps? Let us know in the “Comments” section. And, check out all of our donning aides at BrightLife Direct.
For those of you who don’t know, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) affects the connective tissues such as the skin, joints, and blood vessel walls. EDS symptoms include joints that stretch farther than normal, or have stretchy or fragile skin. EDS symptoms and the severity can vary from person to person.
There are different types of EDS, some of which are genetically inherited. EDS can take decades to diagnose. Many people who are diagnosed were very flexible in their childhood and were often involved in gymnastics, cheerleading or dancing. Others bruise easily and may frequently dislocate something.
Some people with EDS find that compression can help. Compression garments increase blood flow and help speed up muscle recovery after overexertion. Braces can benefit people with the hypermobility EDS type by helping to stabilize the joints to relieve pain.
May is EDS Awareness Month and it is important to help spread the word. Here’s how you can get involved:
Share your story online and connect with others
Create special events in your local community to educate people
Show your stripes! Rep zebra all month and make sure everyone knows why. You never know who you will inspire to advocate.
How are you getting involved for EDS Awareness Month? Comment below to share 🙂
“Well, if the Kardashians are doing it – that’s one reason for me to NOT do it.” That was my coworker Scott’s reaction to my suggestion that we all try a new morning health drink routine in the office. I, personally, love everything Kardashian and want to drink what they’re drinking.
I wanted to give one of these morning drink routines a shot, so I did some research to find the best recipe and enlisted the help of my coworkers. I specifically looked for recipes that had ingredients shown to improve circulation and reduce inflammation (since that’s what BrightLife Direct is all about!). The recipe includes, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, honey, molasses and lemon.
What do these do?
Ginger – Anti-inflammatory super power! It has also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels and improve digestion and blood flow.
Turmeric – Another anti-inflammatory spice. It has also been shown to prevent and treat cancers, help with depression and lower risk of heart disease.
Cayenne – Great for circulation as it improves blood flow. This super spice can also improve digestion, lower blood pressure, boost your metabolism and reduce hunger.
Molasses – Unlike sugar, molasses contains vitamins and nutrients, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.
Lemon – Rich in Vitamin C and great for digestion. Lemons also contain bioflavinoids which can strengthen blood vessels.
Personally – I found the drink PRETTY spicy and hard to get down every morning, but I wanted those health benefits so I chugged it quickly! I was fighting a cold during the week I drank this, and by the third day I felt so much better. I also found that I wasn’t hungry for my morning snack (usually around 10:30 a.m.) and that I didn’t need a second cup of coffee because the spice gave me a kick!
We drank it every morning for a week. Here’s what everyone else in our office said –
“It did help suppress my appetite if I had 2 glasses of it. It also felt like it gave me a better boost of energy than what coffee would do, and I lost 2 pounds from drinking it that week!” – David (was drinking in the morning and lunch time)
“I liked the taste, but I love Bloody Mary’s. I lost three pounds and they’ve stayed off, so I would do it again as a cleanse.” – Scott
“I think I had a bit more energy, not so much a boost, but throughout the day I felt more energized. Still needs vodka but otherwise very good :)” – Mark
“I liked it! The spiciness gave me an instant jolt of energy. I didn’t notice a difference in my appetite until 3 or 4 days in, but after not drinking it today I definitely noticed a difference. I’ve been super hungry! One thing I did not notice a change in is nausea/digestion.” – Catie
1/2teaspoonground cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lemon
sparkling water or kombuchafor topping
Combine the water, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, honey, molasses, and lemon juice. Shake or stir well to combine. Chill until ready to drink. Shake before serving.
Add ice to 2 glasses, pour over the water and top with sparkling water.
What is your morning routine? Would you try this?
NOTE: We’re not doctors. Please check that any medicine you’re taking does not interact with these spices before trying. Check with your medical professional or doctor if you’re uncertain.
As many of you know, March is Lymphedema Awareness Month. Each year, BrightLife Direct supports the lymphedema community through advocacy, education, and giving back. This year, we are offering a $100 gift card to one lucky winner! You can find the rules and enter below.
What Is Lymphedema?
First, for those who are unfamiliar with lymphedema, here is some background information: Lymphedema is a chronic lymphatic disease that is characterized by swelling (edema), most commonly in the arms or legs. This condition affects over 100 million people worldwide, yet is still unknown to many doctors and patients. Some people are born with lymphedema, and others develop it after a surgical procedure, often following a breast cancer diagnosis.
Today, there is no cure for lymphedema. However, the lymphedema community has made great strides in awareness to bring this condition to light to find a cure. Award-winning actress, Kathy Bates, developed lymphedema after undergoing a mastectomy. She is now the face of the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN), sharing her story with the world to help others.
How Do You Manage Lymphedema?
Without proper management, lymphedema can become a debilitating disease. However, with manual lymph drainage (MLD), exercising, staying hydrated, and the regular use of wearing compression garments, swelling can be minimized. Many people with lymphedema struggle with the idea of having to wear compression stockings or armsleeves for life, but compression companies are listening and are making garments that are as comfortable and pleasing as possible.
Well-known compression brands like Jobst, Mediven, and Juzo, all offer compression garments in a wide range of sizes and styles in both the upper and lower extremities. For fashionistas, don’t you worry! There are tons of stylish armsleeves and stockings out there waiting for you. If you want a fun patterned armsleeve with a matching glove or gauntlet, LympheDivas has you covered. Choose from their ever-expanding range of patterns and colors to add some pizazz to your wardrobe. (Check out LympheDudes for men!) Juzo is also hip to fun colors and patterns as well. The Juzo Dream Collection offers new colors for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter in knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose, leggings and armsleeves. The Dream Collection is available in 15-20, 20-30, 30-40, and 40-50 mmHg in sheer, tie-dye, and opaque styles.
If you struggle to put on traditional compression garments, we have you covered as well. Compression wraps are a great alternative and are easy to put on. More and more people with lymphedema are turning to wraps for their ability to adjust compression levels and are able to accommodate swelling fluctuations. Therapists love them for their ability to fit like a custom garment at a ready-to-wear price. BiaCare, CircAid, Solaris, and Juzo, all offer fantastic wraps for the legs and arms. If you would like to learn more about these wraps, check out our Compression Wrap Catalog for more information.
BrightLife Direct understands the difficulty in finding the right garment. Between finding the right fabric or size, it can be an overwhelming process. Give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 and talk to our team of certified fitters to find the perfect garment for you. We are always happy to help you.
How Can You Get Involved In Lymphedema Awareness Month?
Local Events: Get involved in upcoming events. LE&RN has a ton of opportunities to get involved in your local community and online. Check out their website to find a chapter near you.
Online Advocacy: The lymphedema community is growing everyday. Join a Facebook group or search on Twitter and Instagram to connect with fellow lymphies! People from all over the world are sharing their journeys through blogs and social media to support one another.
March 6th is World Lymphedema Day. Share posts online and include #WLD2018 to show your support. Many cities all over the world will be lighting up landmarks in blue in honor of World Lymphedema Day.
Follow us on social media! This month, BrightLife will be sharing tons of educational information and tips for managing lymphedema. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Enter To Win Our Giveaway!
There are many ways to enter to win a $100 gift card. Your options are listed below. You can tweet your entry and comment on this blog post daily to better your chances of winning. The winner will be announced on Friday, April 6th, so make sure you are following BrightLife Direct on social media! The deadline to enter is Sunday, April 1, 2018 at 12:00am EST. Good luck everyone!