If you have chronic lower leg edema from a medical condition, you probably already know how easy it is for socks to leave an impression in this area – and the impression sticks around for quite a while.

In fact, when impressions linger in the edematous area, this is called pitting edema.

Wearing Socks to Bed Despite
Having Edema in the Lower Legs

“The elastic in regular socks isn’t enough to cause a serious problem, but if you already have edema, it can certainly ‘leave a mark’ (temporarily),” says Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, and Diplomate American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

The medical condition that’s causing your edema will not be made worse by sleeping with regular socks.

Medical conditions that cause chronic lower extremity edema include congestive heart failure, emphysema, kidney disease, liver disease, lymphedema after cancer treatment and venous insufficiency.

If regular socks are the most comfortable way for you to sleep, then go ahead and wear them.

For many people, wearing clean socks to bed keeps the feet cozy and warm, and/or prevents them from feeling grimy, sticky and sweaty.

And partners will appreciate not feeling cold bare feet in the middle of the night — and may welcome those warm socks.

What’s more important is the adherence to your medication regimen, keeping hydrated, being conscious of your sodium intake and making sure that you do other things that your doctor wants you to do, depending on your medical condition.

This includes limiting junk food and eating more fresh vegetables and fruits, losing excess body weight and getting regular exercise.

At bedtime, go ahead and wear the socks to keep comfy while you sleep.

To help manage your edema, you should keep your legs elevated overnight as much as you comfortably can.

Dr. Besser provides comprehensive family care, treating common and acute primary conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Her ongoing approach allows her the opportunity to provide accurate and critical diagnoses of more complex conditions and disorders.

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