I'm trying to find more information about the marks that tight clothes leave on my skin. Is there a scientific term for them? It seems that people most commonly call them sock marks, but I think there must be a generic term for marks left by clothes.


2 Answers 2


Pitting edema:

" Any form of pressure, such as from the elastic in socks, can induce pitting with this type of edema" MedicineNet.com


"The accumulation of excess fluid in a fluid compartment. Formerly called dropsy and hydrops" TheFreedictionary

  • This only applies when there's an underlying medical condition. Pitting edema is when your flesh becomes like that of Stretch Armstrong (I had it after my twin pregnancy—totally freaky). It's not the same as regular sock marks. At all.
    – 1006a
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 21:46
  • @1006a the citation includes these words: " Almost everyone who wears socks all day will have mild pitting edema by the end of the day." And, I tried to get a cite for postpartum edema as being called "pitting" but I failed. thank you for the comment. If you have more please relay it.
    – J. Taylor
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 22:51

I remember hearing on a radio program about "new" words that an African language was the only one that had a specific word for the marks left by tight elastic; unfortunately I can't remember the word.The language was from SE Africa.

  • 1
    How is this an answer?
    – Jim
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 5:15

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