It’s not uncommon for patients with diabetes to experience foot problems. Nerve damage, numbness, and foot pain are just a few examples of conditions that diabetes patients experience. Diabetes socks can help ease the symptoms of various foot issues.
Keep reading to learn more about diabetes socks, their features, and their applications.
What Are Diabetic Socks?
Diabetes socks are usually made with special materials that help improve blood circulation and reduce foot pain. They also often have features that help wick away moisture and keep the feet dry. In most cases, these socks also help prevent the risk of foot injury.
These features are important for people with diabetes as they are more susceptible to foot infections due to poor circulation and high blood sugar levels. Both conditions can make it difficult for wounds to heal.
This is why diabetes socks are an essential part of foot care for many people with diabetes.
People Who Can Benefit From Diabetic Socks
If you experience any of the following signs, you should consider using diabetic socks:
- Experience abnormal changes in foot color and temperature
- Experience frequent foot irritation, blisters, or fungal infections
- Have chronically moist or sweaty feet
- Have decreased pedal pulse, which is associated with an increased risk of peripheral artery disease
Even people who are unlikely to develop foot issues might develop complications without proper care and preparation.
Although all patients with diabetes should be conscious of their feet, those at higher risk of developing foot problems should consider wearing diabetic socks. This is true even for patients who have never had foot ulcers before.
A foot ulcer can form as a result of diabetes damaging the blood vessels that feed the nerves in the legs and feet. Untreated foot ulcers can lead to severe infections, amputation, and even death.
Diabetes socks are a simple and affordable approach to avoiding life-altering and fatal foot issues related to diabetes. These socks are effective because of features like moisture-wicking fabric and seamless designs.
Features Of Diabetic Socks
People with diabetes should know that buying diabetic socks is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Diabetic socks have various characteristics intended to treat specific foot problems caused by diabetes.
Here are a few common features you can find in diabetic socks:
When you have diabetes, it’s recommended that you keep your foot dry to prevent blisters and wounds from developing.
Most diabetic socks are made with acrylic fibers instead of the usual cotton found in traditional socks. Acrylic material keeps the feet dry by removing moisture from the skin. Consequently, your risk of fungal infections and other foot issues is significantly reduced.
Moisture-wicking materials also allow sweat to evaporate more quickly, which reduces the risk of fungal infection while preventing odor.
When you have diabetes, you can be severely harmed by the smallest protrusion in your sock. Sock seams can irritate the toes and other parts of the foot by rubbing against the skin, resulting in blisters or sores.
Diabetic socks are designed without seams. It uses an inverse-linking mechanism that keeps the toe-linking threads of the sock outside instead of inside. This design reduces the risk of ulcers, especially in people with neuropathy or high blood sugar.
Harsh or rough fibers can also cause blisters and ulcers to form on the skin. A great way to avoid this is to choose diabetic socks made of soft yarns or fine-textured fabrics. Bamboo and wool are a few diabetic-friendly materials that are gentle on the skin and naturally antimicrobial.
Traditional socks have an elastic band that helps keep the sock in place. Unfortunately, this band can cut the circulation of blood in the calves and feet.
Diabetic socks typically have non-elastic bindings. This helps prevent circulatory problems by ensuring the sock doesn’t constrict the leg.
The best diabetic socks are made with antimicrobial technology that helps keep the foot healthy. It does so by preventing the formation of bacteria and fungus in the moist areas of the foot.
To limit bacterial and fungal development, copper or silver is frequently infused into the yarn used to make diabetic socks. Aside from making diabetic socks antibacterial, this treatment also makes the socks odor-free.
The sensitive areas on the foot need to receive additional cushioning and padding. Generally, you want to look for diabetic socks with paddings on the sock’s heel, toes, and bottom areas. These are the parts that are most susceptible to shock and pressure.
Some diabetic socks come with built-in sensors that track the feet’s condition, including temperature. If abnormalities are detected, the wearer is immediately notified on an app on their phone. Typically, these socks have a lifespan of six months and have a coin-sized battery near the ankle.
Diabetic socks come in different lengths, from no-show and calf-length to over-the-knee styles. Choose a design that best suits your situation. For instance, over-the-knee styles may be ideal for people with circulation issues.
Ask your doctor for guidance in choosing the best option.
Care and Maintenance
Taking care of diabetes socks is a must for anyone living with diabetes, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you have been instructed to wear your diabetic socks daily, make sure to wash them frequently to keep them clean.
Most diabetic socks can last half a year with proper care. When you take them off at night, it’s important to give them a thorough inspection and clean them properly.
Look for signs of wear and tear, such as holes or fraying threads, and replace the socks if needed.
If you wish to extend the life expectancy of your diabetic socks, consider the following tips:
- Wash diabetes socks separately from other items in hot water with a gentle detergent.
- Put your socks in a garment bag in the washing machine and use low heat for drying.
- Remove any pilling with a comb or shaver.
- Lastly, avoid using fabric softener on diabetes socks since this will decrease their ability to wick away moisture.
Diabetic Socks vs. Compression Stockings
Diabetic socks protect diabetic patients from developing wounds or other conditions that can result from poor circulation. They are made from tightly knit fabrics that compress the patient’s feet without restricting blood flow, encouraging proper blood flow throughout their feet.
Meanwhile, compression stockings are designed for people suffering from varicose veins or leg pain caused by impaired circulation. They feature graduated semi-elastic pressure in a graduated sequence along their length. This design helps reduce swelling and pain by stimulating better circulation within the legs.
Medical-grade compression socks are not ideal for people with diabetes because these socks can reduce blood flow to the feet and aggravate conditions.
Where to Buy Diabetes Socks
Dr. Scholl’s Compression Socks are a popular choice among patients looking to ease their diabetic foot issues. All their socks are made of moisture-wicking fibers that help keep the foot dry. They also come with soft-stretch non-binding tops—ensuring unrestricted blood flow in the calves and feet.
Pharmacies, retail shops, medical supply shops, and online retailers all carry diabetic socks. Although some socks aren’t advertised expressly for diabetics, they can nonetheless efficiently satisfy your needs.
The Bottom Line
If you have diabetes, it’s important to choose your socks carefully, as they can impact your health in a number of ways. Fortunately, there are many different types of diabetic socks on the market that offer a variety of features designed to improve circulation, reduce foot pain, and prevent infections.
Be sure to talk to your doctor or podiatrist about which type of diabetic sock is right for you.