Have you retired your nylons to the back of the sock drawer? While funky-colored and textured tights have been in vogue for a while, we're predicting a comeback in sheer hose, due in part to their popularity with Duchess Catherinewho's frequently been photographed wearing them.
But before you roll those stockings up your legs, you should know that nylons can have good and bad effects on your health. When blood doesn't circulate well and pools in the lower legs, it can lead to the development of unsightly and painful varicose veins and spider veins which are like varicose veins but smaller. Special pantyhose called compression stockings can help alleviate the aching, throbbing, and irritation that often accompany varicose and spider veins.
They're especially beneficial to wear when traveling for people who are prone to varicose veins or to deep vein thrombosis DVTa condition where potentially dangerous blood clots form, often in the legs. Three basic kinds of compression hose are: drugstore and department store brands like Oroblu that deate "support" or "compression" on the packaging; over-the-counter hose sold at medical supply stores; and prescription-strength hose that require special fittings.
Ask your doctor which type is best for your health issues. Compression pantyhose can also help prevent swelling around the anklesfeet, and legs — medically termed edema. This condition is common during long car rides and flights, and among people who are overweight, have circulation issues, are pregnant, or take certain medications.
The swelling happens because blood pools in the veins and water leaks out between cells, causing the puffiness, according to Howard Murad, MD, a Manhattan Beach, California-based dermatologist. Compression stockings keep circulation flowing, minimizing the pooling effect.
They may be especially helpful for people who find themselves with swelling at the end of a long workday on their feet, like teachers, waiters, and surgeons, says Dr. Although some pantyhose brands tout themselves as cellulite cures, the truth is that stockings can't prevent or reverse the dreaded skin dimpling that affects up to 80 percent of women, according to the Mayo Clinic.
A little background on why: Cellulite occurs when deposits of fat push up and bulge against fibrous tissues beneath the skin. While improving circulation in the area may improve the appearance of cellulite temporarily, such as through special cellulite-fighting massages, compression stockings aren't likely to have an impact.
Health pros and cons of pantyhose
But donning thicker hose or tights can be a helpful way to camouflage cellulite, as opposed to thin, sheer stockings or showing a bare leg, says Dr. If you're prone to urinary tract infections or yeast infectionsyou may want to play down the pantyhose in your wardrobe.
For most healthy womenwearing stockings for a workday with cotton underwear underneath won't cause a problem, but wearing them without underwear could be more risky.
Worried about UTIs and yeast infections but aren't willing to give up your favorite tights? Look for pairs with a more breathable cotton crotch. Try thigh-high styles under skirts and dresses instead, which allow for better air circulation.
3 panty hose stock photos, vectors, and illustrations are available royalty-free.
Stockings plus ill-fitting shoes can spell trouble for your tootsies. Pantyhose that are too loose and bunch at your ankles and heels or shoes that are too big and constantly rub against your stockings can contribute to callus-causing friction.
To avoid a problem, make sure your hose fit your heels well. Pantyhose can increase foot sweating, and therefore make you more prone to a fungal infection like athlete's footsays Dr. As he notes, "Fungus loves moisture and sweating.
Pro: stockings can relieve varicose veins
Or rub some antiperspirant or baby powder on your feet before slipping into your stockings. Another hazard to be aware of is that nylons can exacerbate skin rashes. This is especially true for people who are allergic to latexwhich can be found in hosiery made with "mixed blends.
Also, avoid donning stockings when it's warm out if you're prone to rashes and eczema.
Sweat can further irritate sensitive skin, especially when it gets trapped under your hosiery. Because of the delicate nature of hosiery, you may be hesitant to wash them after every wear. But health-wise, it's important to clean them after each wearing to get rid of the mix of body oils, perspiration, and bacteria that cling to the hose and can make them smelly.
Rinse them with soap or a mild detergent in the sink and air dry. Or throw them in the washing machine in a gentle cycle in a lingerie bag to avoid snagsthen hang to dry.
Health Topics. Health Tools.
Women's Health. By Meg Hemphill.
Reviewed: December 15, Health Pros and Cons of Pantyhose. Read on for experts' takes on the pros and cons of pantyhose.
Con: Stockings Can Cause Calluses. Pantyhose Hygiene.