Is it just me, or is anyone else allergic to grip tops?

I have been told by my lymphoedema specialist that my local clinic is likely to close soon and that I will need to get my compression stockings from my GP, but the problem is that only the grip-top stockings are available on prescription, and I am allergic to the grip tops - they make my skin very red and sore. I therefore wear stockings with a plain top (which are supplied by the Lymphoedema clinic), and I use glue to hold them up, but if the clinic closes I won't be able to get them on prescription from my GP. I have contacted the manufacturer to ask whether there are any plans to make the plain-top stockings available on prescription, but they said no, as they did not think there was any demand for them, as I was the first person they had heard of who was allergic to the silicon grip-tops. They said they used silicon specifically because it was a low-allergy material, and that it was most unusual for anyone to be allergic to it. Therefore, I was wondering if anyone else has the same problem.

8 Replies

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  • Hi Jas28, I have sensitive skin and patchy eczema. I can tolerate the silicon band on Jobst arm sleeves but I know they can also come without the band as one time the pharmacy attached to our GP practice got the one without the band for me by mistake. And both appeared to be available on prescription. So it might be a matter of changing the make of sleeve? My skin got itchy wearing Mediven sleeves with grip.

  • I have knee length made to measure stockings. I once tried grip tops but they bought me out in a rash, so I now longer use them (and I can manage without any "grip" as they are knee length).

  • Hi Jas - there are non grip top garments available on prescription but may not be the make you are currently using - also the glue is available on prescription - which clinic do you usually attend?

  • Nope, it's not just you. I do have a couple of pairs, and I can't wear them for long either before the plastic kind of burns my skin. Also though don't you find they fall down if you try to walk any sort of distance or be active at all in them? Not practical!!!

    I have haddenham veni tights, these are available on perscription in black or beige. You will find various chemists will try to tell you they are not on the tarrif but just be a little insistant and ask them to check again because they are (I've seen it :-)). As some GP's have no idea and it can be over a yer between le clinic visits I confess I've measured myself before and perscribed myself down a size (tee hee) I think this is the current specification flyer, perhaps you can provide this to your gp or nurse:

    haddenhamhealthcare.co.uk/c...

    These are really great tights, they have an adjustable belt thingy to keep them up. I get one pair in each colour. I frequently amaze people when I tell them they are actually medical compression tights, even other compression stocking wearers or medical folks don't clock them. They really just look like standard tights. I hike for hours in them, drunkenly wander all day at festivals, yack them up roughly, they are pretty indestructable two pair easily last me 6 months.

    I strongly recommend this product it's really great, and the benefits of getting them on perscription are huge. Personally my yearly appointment for the clinic has just been cancelled AGAIN with no reappointment date, but with these I can just put in a repeat perscription any time I want myself and pop down to pick them up. Massive bonus :-)

    Hope they suit you, good luck

  • Hi Jas28, I am also allergic to the tops on the stockings. I contacted the company and told them this. I have tried the "normal" top stockings but had to use a belt to keep them up! I am now trying the tights but no success there either they keep falling below my bottom!! Susie2012

  • Thanks for all the replies - I'm glad to know I'm not the only one!

    It's interesting to know that some other makes may not cause the same problem, as it was Mediven grip top stockings which made my skin sore. It's also interesting to know that the glue may be available on prescription, as it is very expensive to buy!

    I am very happy with my open-toe Mediven Plus stockings, held up with glue. I have also tried waist attachments, but found them very uncomfortable, as I don't like anything tight round my waist. But I find the glue very effective and the stockings don't slip down at all (provided I put enough glue on and put it right round my leg). I will just have to speak to my GP when the time comes (and maybe be a bit insistent) and see if there is some way of getting the plain topped stockings on prescription, even if I have to try a different make.

    Thanks again everyone for all the replies.

  • the trouble is that each pct (or commissioning group, from april) decides what they will & won't make available on script - so if there's a product that suits you & it's not available on script in your area one option would be to kick up a fuss / combine throwing a fissy hit, crying & writing to your gp, & finding out who the local commissioner for lymphoedema services is

    sylicone bands rip my skin off & leave lovely welts after a day's wear - just what i want out of a lymphoedema sleeve!

    another option might be to get the team to sort you out a made to measure stocking / sleeve if nothing that's available really suits you - then they'll definitely be available on script but may be rationed

    & don't forget, if you do end up buying anything, that you can fill in a form (the seller will supply it) so you don't have to pay the vat - that 20% makes a difference

  • I am VERY allergic to the dot top silicone support stockings.  I get a red blister where each dot of silicone touches my skin.  The blisters take a long time to heal.  I tried to fold them over and use the glue but the glue tore off my skin and left it red and sore also.  Maybe because I am 78 my skin is overly tender?  My Mother lived until 89 years so I may be wearing support hose a long time yet.  I either wear the type that needs a garter belt (hate the tightness around my waist) or the knee highs which sometimes make my replaced knee swell.  I also wish that support stockings came in more colors besides black and beige.  I get ankle ulcers if I don't wear support hose daily.

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