Why Lymed custom-made products take weeks to make, when other manufacturers' items are available within a couple of days?
All Lymed custom-made garments are made in Tampere, from start to finish. Products are not semi-finished: the manufacturing process starts when the order is received. The order is scheduled and will be manufactured in the order they are sent to Lymed. Each product is individually manufactured; the patterns for cutting are made and it is sewn by hand. Some product solutions are more difficult to make than others, thus taking more time to do so. Some solutions may require communication between the ordering party and Lymed’s production before products can be made.
Lymed is an official aid manufacturer and our products are widely available on prescription. Check the availability from your local distributor or healthcare professional. In most countries where Lymed is available, insurance companies or public healthcare sector can give out a commitment of expenditure to fund Lymed products. Please check your local practices from your distributor or healthcare professional.
There is a lot of information available in different medical internet portals about pressure treatment. Pressure treatment has been used in several indications since the 1950s, beginning with scar treatment. It’s theory, and how to get deeper into it, is easy and there’s lots of information on our website, too. In rarer cases we recommend that the effect of pressure treatment is analysed case-by-case. There are very little contraindications with pressure treatment and it’s very safe to try it, if needed.
Lymed materials are designed for pressure application purposes only. Our products can certainly be used in water therapy or other aquatic hobbies, but actual swimsuits are not included in our range. Our materials are not waterproof and therefore do not prevent getting wet. Manufacturers of waterproof diapers, dry suits and tailor-made swimwear can be found e.g. from the internet.
Pressure garment treatment is the primary care method in scar treatment. Any wound or scar product can be used with pressure garments. Lymed does not manufacture garments with a silicone inlining or that are laminated with silicone to maintain the integrity of pressure treatment with garments and the choice of having special solutions made to each garment.
Pressure garments are mostly worn all day, around the clock, but silicone has some restrictions in use. Silicone cannot be used on top of skin more than 24 hrs at a time because it may cause maseration. Silicone is known to cause irritation on some patients, and the treatment needs to be stopped for a while. If a pressure garment does not have integrated silicone, this means that even though when silicone irritation might occur, the pressure treatment does not have to be stopped at all.
Silicone in scar management is always a local treatment, used only in the scar that is maturated enough for silicone treatment. Silicone products cannot be used on open wounds. Lymed pressure garments can be used in wound care and scar management. Care personnel decides what products are used underneath pressure garments, based on the situation and the stage of the treatment. Having non-silicone pressure garments means that the pressure treatment can begin in an early stage.
Silicone laminated pressure garment is not needed in larger areas because of the localized need for silicone treatment. Larger areas of silicone lamination is also not very comfortable to use. Silicone products are also advised to be washed more frequently than pressure garments to maintain their qualities for longer.
It is worth noting that silicone lamination affects elastic recovery negatively. It is impossible to build a long-lasting medical pressure if the product does not recover between uses. Un-stretchable pressure garment can cause pressure points or pressure ulcers. Un-stretchable material can also limit mobility. It also affects breathability and it would be harder to put on because of the added friction of the silicone lamination.
Answer coming shortly. Please contact your local dealer for further information!
There are special solutions available for all Lymed products to help with the dressing. Most popular is the zipper that can be made in different lengths. It can be placed where ever, to suit the clients needs and preferences. Assistive hooks can be placed under the zipper to ease zipping up the sock. Zippers are useful in wound care – it’s not needed to remove the sock when tending to the wound (e.g. in leg ulcers). In assisted dressing the zipper speeds up the process and help the dresser. We recommend studying different techniques to dress the garments and looking into dressing aids that are widely available.
Lymed products have anatomical designs in elbows, knees and ankles to relieve discomfort.
If these anatomical designs are not enough to remove discomfort, the products can be designed to fit the actual use. The shape of the design can be changed. Different positions can be taken into consideration during the design process. A day’s work at the computer might mean that the arms are at a 90 degree angle most of the day. Products can be made for different uses, especially if there’s more than one product in use (e.g. one for work and one for free time).
Product’s service life is shortened by e.g. the indication its used for, frequency of use, level of pressure or compression, individual solutions, anatomy of the user, acidity level of the skin, friction caused my other materials or objects, use of individual aids, and how the product is washed and cared for. In products that have a high frequency of use and require durability, like socks and gloves, lifetime of the product might vary notably between users.
In socks the most usual suspect is friction in relation to foot anatomy. In this case the culprit can be one too long toe nail, exceptional foot form in relation to the shoes that are used or calluses of the foot. The longevity of the sock can be affected by wearing another protective sock on top of it, checking the insoles of the shoes for any discrepancies and by taking care of the feet, skin and nails.
Based on literature, most of the reactions caused by silicones are non-allergic and non-specific. It is usually plain irritation, caused by skin’s properties, skin care products and hygiene – and the combination of them all. Individual elements, like pH of the skin, microbes, sweat, skin lotions and personal hygiene, can cause the irritation. Irritation can increase when sweating is more prominent – for example in higher temperatures.
One can remove some of the irritation by cleaning the silicone band and the skin below it more frequently than before. The silicone band can be wiped clean several times a day. The skin below can be left lotionless. Every product can be manufactured without the silicone band, or by changing its place. There are several silicone band options available, and they can be changed into the product when needed. In some cases, a change into a model that does not require silicone bands at all, could be beneficial (e.g. different strap options or models with more coverage).
You recommend a laundry detergent that does not contain enzymes, bleach, optical brighteners or strong fragrances. What does it mean?
To keep the elasticity of the material as long as possible, one must choose the correct detergent to do so. Many detergents, or additives for detergents, affect the material by weakening or accumulating in it. In particular, the use of fabric softeners is extremely harmful to Lymed products. Additives that are harmful to the recipient include, for example, bleaches, brighteners, perfumes, softeners, conditioners, enzymes and zeolites. We recommend detergents that are gentle to the materials and do not contain the above mentioned substances. Such detergents are commonly found among the ecological and allergy-sensitive detergents in supermarkets and department stores.
I take care of my lymphoedema by eg. swimming and doing water therapy. Can I use my garments in the water, too?
Lymed products are ok to use in water, during swimming or other water sports. Products must be washed in a washing machine, as per washing instructions, immediately after use to get rid of residue left by natural or pool water.
We always recommend washing the garment before first use. The feeling of the product will change after a few wash an wears, when the composition of the fabric adjusts. Read more about Lymed materials from here!
I've been using my compression product for two weeks and it is looser now than when I first put it on. Why?
It is completely normal that when first starting to use the products, the metabolism gets rid of excess fluids. There is a chance that your circumferences might have gotten smaller. Please contact your Lymed measurer to check your measurements. If the measurements have changed, the product can be modified to fit your new measurement!
It’s also very normal that your body gets used to the feeling of pressure. This is called acclimatization to pressure. This might be the reason why the feeling is not as strong as during the first use, although the pressure level has remained the same.
I've noticed that there are products made from flat knits and circular knits. How Lymed products are made?
Most textile materials are made by weaving or knitting yarns together. Compression and pressure garments are mainly knits. Knitted fabrics are divided into two basic types:
1) Warp knit fabrics
2) Weft knit fabrics
Knitting methods are divided in:
a) Circular knitting
b) Flat knitting
Warp knitting can get much more complicated depending on the application and its end-use requirements. All the Lymed products are made of flat knitted warp knit. Warp knit tends to have better ability to form compression and build tight curves into a garment. One of the big benefits is the fact that it doesn’t fray. Flat knits can be made from thicker yarns, which results in a stiff fabric able to form greater compression. Flat knit garments are manufactured from a flat piece of fabric, which is then stitched together. These are usually made to measure for the individual patient.
Circular knit is made with a machine that knits the fabric in a continuous circle (tube). Most of the standard size compression socks are manufactured by using this technology to result a smooth, seamless product. Circular knitting has some challenges, like building a shape with tight curves into a garment because loops are hard to suddenly add or substract in circular knits. In flat knit the product must have one or more seams to manufacture a cylinder shaped product. Pressure garment materials also have some misconceived terms that are not based in textile industry. A good example is the term “flat weave”, which does not exist in compression and pressure materials.
Material quality affects the product characteristics in a multitude of ways – eg. the composition and strength and density of the yarn its made of. The way how manufacturers use their respective materials to form compression and pressure determines the qualities of the end product. There are less rules in manufacturing standard size products. There is little to no information available on what are the parameters of pressure that the manufacturers use to make standard size products.
It’s not just the raw materials of the knit that have effect on the compression garment’s functionality. There is no clear relationship between the material percentage, for example elastane percentage, and the wanted compression. Material properties such as knit construction, yarn thickness and Tex number of the yarn, also have an influence on the compression formation in the garment. When evaluating the suitability of the material, it is important to pay attention to the ability of a material to recover to its original state. That makes up the actual compression and its “permanence”. Based on textile material alone, or even the amount of elastane in the fabric, it is nearly impossible to decide how the product performs, what is its resistance to pressure or how well it does its job. Also, the feel towards the skin plays a huge role; does the knit feel firm but soft at the same time.
On a general note, it is fair to say that products, which have more seams, can be produced to fit better than a completely seamless product – regardless of the material. Seamless and one-seam products fit best in simple body parts without great variation in circumferences, such as arm sleeves. In a garment composition, more seams mean better fit- in any material. Seamless technique has some technical limitations to manufacture or knit every desired garment shape.
Lymed materials are made from elastane and polyamide. Elastane is a polyurethane that is formed into elastic fiber. Its most important attribution is stretchability- elastane can be stretched repetitively over 500% without breaking and it still recovers to its original length. The long amorphous segments in elastane create the elastic properties and the short rigid segments provide the structure when the fiber is stretched and released. Elastane is soft, lightweight and abrasion resistant. Elastane is used where a high degree of permanent elasticity is required, as in tights, sportswear, swimwear and in woven and knitted fabrics. Adding elastane just for couple of percent makes fabrics more comfortable to wear. Elastane is always used in a blend with other fibers.
Elongation on an elastane yarn is much higher than on a more rigid yarn, like polyamide on Lymed fabric. When stretching a knit, the elastane yarn would practically never get to its limits of the elongation. This means, in most cases, that the elastane would not determine the ultimate elongation in the knit- determination is made by the rigid yarns in the fabric. Also, the construction of the knit has effect on the stretchability- looser the knit, stretchier the fabric.
More elastane content in a fabric does not mean that the fabric will have more stretch. By increasing the elastane content in the fabric, more resistance to stretch is created using the elastomeric material. More elastane means more powerful fabric.
There are a lot of requirements for the fabric of compression garments as textile and medical material. When evaluating the suitability of the material, it is important to pay attention to the ability of a material to recover to its original state. That makes up the actual compression and its “permanence”. Based on textile material alone, or even the amount of elastane in the fabric, it is nearly impossible to decide how the product performs, what is its resistance to pressure or how well it does its job. Also, the feel towards the skin plays a huge role; does the material feel firm but soft at the same time.
Elastic limit is the greatest amount of stress that can be applied to the fiber without causing permanent deformation. Up to the elastic limit the material will return to its original shape and dimension. Beyond elastic limit, material will start deform plastically and the property of the material is known as plasticity. Value of intensity of stress corresponding to this limit force is called elastic limit of the material.
For example, cotton is inelastic and rigid fiber. 70% of cotton fiber consists of crystalline sections. After stretching cotton fiber will not return to its original position. It remains in stretched shape, which is not wanted in many case (for example bagging knees in pants). Also, environmental and internal conditions, like moisture and temperature, have effect on cotton’s elongation properties. Despite of cotton’s comfortable feel and breathability it is not suitable for compression garments.
Wear & care instructions guide how to take care of Lymed products in a best possible way. Our goal is to offer product that last as long as possible. Our products are available on prescription, and a client might get two products for the entire year. In these cases the two products have to last for the duration of the year, emphasizing the correct care.
It is understandable that daily wash is challenging, especially in one-person households, where laundry does not accumulate as much. Products should be washed as frequently as possible, and planning the laundry cycles becomes very important.
From a textile point of view, correct wash is the most important aspect affecting the longevity of the product. A pressure garment has to endure a lot – no other garment has to endure the same. Pressure is formed by elastane fibers. These fibers, the inspected through a microscope, has little holes that open up when the garment is stretched (e.g. in use). In contact with the skin, these holes fill up with up sebum, lotions and skin particles. When the product is undressed, the fibers relax and the holes close again – with everything inside them. In time, this destroys the fiber, and the garment will lose its elasticity and eventually breaks. This is most commonly seen in old swimwear. Skin pH varies a lot and effects the wear of the garment. By washing the garment in a washing machine without fabric softeners, the elastane fibers open up and all of the dirt will be removed.
Pressure and compression treatment
We recommend, when possible, using two or more products simultaneously. Having two products in rotation will increase the life of the products, allowing the material to rest between use. Two products also guarantee a comfortable washing cycle: when one product is in use, the other one may be in the laundry. Using more than one product at the same time makes life easier: if a product breaks down and needs to be repaired, the other one can be in use during the process. Using two identical, but maybe different colored, products also allow freedom in daily fashion choices.
If you order a brand new product or an old product with changes, we recommend ordering one product first to ensure the perfect fit.
The wear time and the duration of use of the product is determined by the person responsible for the treatment. The product is safe to use round-the-clock, leaving time for personal hygiene and skin care. If unusual swelling, circulatory disorders, breakdown of the skin or other symptoms occurs, please contact the persons responsible for your care. You can wear your products at night, although lighter pressure or compression is usually needed for items that are used during sleeping.
Standard sized products are chosen based on a couple of personal measurements. The size is based on a range of a few centimeters. The pressure is realized differently with customers that are situated in the opposite ends of the same size range. Customers with larger dimensions will have a greater pressure or compression, because the material reached greater elongation. The actual pressure level is also affected by tissue’s texture, firmness and many other characteristics. This is the reason that many medical compression garments are made by prescription only. It is very important that the garment works properly.
The pressure in standard size items (eg. a sock) is formed based on what type of a foot is inside it in relation to the sizing, which is predetermined by the manufacturer. There’s no common standard or guideline in use for every manufacturer to follow. It is also impossible to verify, if a non-medical compression manufacturer has information on how compression behaves or how it is really formed. There are risks involved when a high compression class, standard size product is in use. If the fit and functionality is not monitored, the risks might include embolism, infection or varicose veins. The risk is high in products that are available for consumers without any service. According to studies, only custom-made compression product functions properly and gives the desired result (source: Born et al.).
Completely custom-made products are always made to fit the client’s own body measurements and shapes. All Lymed custom-made products are made that way.
Pressure socks have several names: compression stocking, travel socks, compression socks and etc. What do these all mean?
The effects of compression and pressure products are based on a correct level of pressure. In compression products it is progressively declining – it’s the strongest in the distal portions of the body and eases towards the center of the body. The more body the product covers, the more powerful the compression effect is. In garments with a steady, even pressure, the pressure is manufactured uniformly throughout the entire product.
Compression socks are manufactured in various compression classes. Compression socks are available in preventive compression class A and medical compression classes I-IV (the most popular classification in Europe is the EU’s pre-standards, although others do exists). Official compression products in classes I-IV are known in Finland as medical compression stockings. Abroad the terms “medical compression socks/stockings” or “therapeutic compression socks” are in use. Medical products are suitable for the treatment of diseases and conditions, and the millimeter of mercury levels in products (mmHg) is always known. Preventive compression products have a number of nicknames. Preventive Compression stockings (Class A) are often referred to with terms “support stockings” or “flight socks”. The terms have stuck in general use, but they originate from some old trade titles. The term “compression stocking” best describes the purpose of use of the products and is the official name for these products.
Measuring and ordering
There are no concise rules in measuring because the body shapes and products vary a lot, but there are a few things that you should pay attention to.
Remember that measurements of the midsection change a lot depending on the body position. When lying down, the measurements of the midsection are smaller. So if possible, all measurements should be taken, at least, in a sitting position. Lengths rarely change when we are lying down.
Body’s position, when measuring, depends on the day-to-day body position of the client. For example, a person who is permanently sitting in a wheelchair should be measured sitting rather than lying down. It is a good idea to take the lengths of the legs by straightening them out, holding the legs in place. Circumferences can be taken normally in a sitting position. There is no substantial difference if a knee-high sock is measured with the client sitting or lying down.
It is very important to mention, in the order form, if measurements are taken in another position than standing up. Ideally all measurements are taken with the client standing. That is not always possible, and our designers can take the body position into consideration if it’s mentioned on the order form.
Most of the time swelling is not prominent in the morning, but increases towards evening and night time. Thus measurements will be smallest in the mornings – before noon, depending on the client’s tendency to swell.