Compression Hosiery Service

Let's show your legs some support

Compression hosiery is specially designed to help you manage lots of different conditions that can affect your legs and ankles. It can help to prevent, treat and ease the pain and symptoms of swollen legs and ankles and may help if you're pregnant, have varicose veins or leg ulcers, spend a lot of time on your feet or are going on a long journey and want to prevent deep vein thrombosis. Boots healthcare advisors are specially trained to give advice on compression hosiery.

What happens at a consultation?

During a compression hosiery consultation your Boots healthcare advisor will help measure, choose and fit the right hosiery for you. Your consultation will be carried out in one of our private consultation rooms, and new measurements will be taken each time you need new hosiery.

Your Boots healthcare advisor will help you:

Understand the different types and classes of hosiery available. To make it easier for you to make the right choice, you can look at samples in store

Learn how to put on and take off your hosiery. It's important to follow the manufacturers' instructions for each type of hosiery. If you need any help, you can pick up an application aid to use at home

Learn how to care for your hosiery. If you follow the manufacturers' instructions, two pairs of hosiery should last you for up to six months

How do I get a consultation?

Our compression hosiery measuring and fitting service is available in all Boots pharmacies nationwide. Depending on what suits you best you can either book an appointment online, at your local Boots pharmacy or drop into the pharmacy to find out if a healthcare advisor is available at that time to carry out a consultation.

We'll measure and fit your hosiery free of charge, meaning you'll just have to pay for whichever products you choose.

Once you've chosen what's right for you, your hosiery will be ordered for you to pick up from your nearest pharmacy within 5 days.

How does compression hosiery work?

Compression hosiery puts pressure on your leg to help the blood in your veins flow in the right direction (up towards your heart). It's designed to be tightest at your ankle and gradually get looser as it goes further up your leg.

There are three 'classes' of compression hosiery to choose from. Each class is a different strength and is designed to help with different conditions. The right choice for you will depend on your needs:

• Superficial or early varicose veins and swollen ankles.

• After an operation and on long distance travel to help prevent DVT (if your risks are low).

• Medium severity varicose veins and mild oedema (swelling).

• Prevention and treatment of venous leg ulcers.

• After an operation and on long distance travel to help prevent DVT (if your risks are high).

• Severe varicose veins and severe oedema (swelling).

• Prevention and treatment of venous leg ulcers.

We stock hosiery from a number of manufacturers, including Activa, Scholl and Mediven. Your GP might suggest a particular brand that will be best for you.

There are several styles in a choice of colours:

• Below-knee stockings (open or closed toe)

• Below-knee ribbed socks

• Thigh-high stockings and hold ups

• Tights

• Maternity tights

If you need to, you can use suspender belts to hold your compression hosiery up. Your Boots healthcare advisor can advise on where you can get one if needed.

Is this service suitable for everyone?

In some instances compression hosiery may not be suitable, for example if you have severe oedema (swelling) of the lower leg, a sensitivity to the material in the hosiery, a local skin condition such as dermatitis or if you have recently had a skin graft operation.

In some instances, our pharmacist may suggest that you visit your GP. This might happen if:

• You have moderate to severe varicose veins
• You have venous leg ulcers
• You have diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
• Your legs are swollen due to fluid accumulation
• You want to prevent developing DVT after an operation
• You're taking certain prescription medicines