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When you have diabetes, there’s a good chance you may have neuropathy. Diabetic socks are a good option for people who suffer from neuropathy. Diabetic socks help protect the foot and ankle from injury.
When you have elevated blood sugar levels from diabetes, nerve damage can occur in your feet. Nerve damage may initially feel like a tingling and burning sensation in the feet.
However, extensive nerve damage can result in complete numbness of the feet. This can place you at risk for puncture wounds, infections, and burn injuries.
Skin wounds that become infected can turn into bone infections. Bone infections can then lead to amputation.
Wearing appropriate socks is so important when you have neuropathy. Socks are made using many different materials. Some are better than others for some people. There are certain features that diabetic socks have that “regular” socks do not have.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of diabetic socks in detail.
Let’s dive in…
Who Would Be a Good Candidate for Diabetic Socks?
- Diabetics with neuropathy
- People who have had blisters or ulcers in the feet/legs
- People who have peripheral vascular disease
- People who have fungal infections in their feet
- People who have had bacterial infections in their feet
- People who suffer from sweaty feet
What Are the Benefits of Diabetic Socks?
Diabetic Socks Are Not Constrictive
When you have neuropathy, even something as simple as wearing tight constrictive socks can irritate the skin. A lot of diabetics have swelling in their feet. Tight constrictive socks can cause painful indentations to occur in the swollen skin. This can cause a wound to form. Diabetic socks are stretchy and breathable. They are not constrictive on the skin.
Motor neuropathy from diabetes can lead to muscle changes that result in deformities forming such as hammertoes and bunions. Tight socks can rub against these bone prominences and cause blisters. Some diabetic socks have blister guard protection to help prevent blisters.
Diabetic Socks Are Seamless
Diabetic socks do not have thick seams inside them. Thick seams (especially in the toe area) can irritate the toes. Rubbing from the sock seams can cause wounds to form. By wearing diabetic socks, you can avoid this problem.
Diabetic Socks Are Made From Soft Materials
Diabetic socks are made from a variety of soft, breathable materials. Some of these materials include bamboo and wool. Bamboo socks are biodegradable, antibacterial, and feel smooth on the skin.
Polyester socks are ideal for sensitive diabetic skin because they are soft, breathable, resistant to abrasion, and comfortable. In addition, polyester socks wick away moisture and exhibit antimicrobial properties.
Diabetic Socks Are Moisture-Wicking
When you have diabetes, the area between the toes may become wet and make you more prone to developing fungal infections. This is why diabetic socks should wick away moisture. However, the heels of diabetics are often cracked due to the effects of autonomic neuropathy. Moisture-wicking socks remove moisture from the skin, but without drying the feet out completely.
Acrylic, wool, and polyester socks are good moisture-wicking socks.
Diabetic Socks Are Padded in Appropriate Areas
The pressure on the feet is greatest in the metatarsal heads (knuckle bones at the base of your toes), and the heel. Diabetic socks are often padded in these high-pressure areas. This padding can help prevent excess pressure formation that often results in ulcerations in the neuropathic foot.
This extra padded feature is especially important if you are an athlete or run long distances. The extra padding can help with shock absorption.
Diabetic Socks Have Antimicrobial Features
Some diabetic socks have silver or copper infused into them. These have antimicrobial features and can help protect sensitive diabetic skin against bacterial and fungal infections. This would be a good choice for someone to wear if they suffer from recurring athlete’s foot or bacterial infections. These socks can also help with bad odor.
Are Diabetic Socks Loose?
Diabetic socks are well-fitted and slightly looser than standard compression socks. People with neuropathy should avoid excessively tight socks to avoid skin irritation. Diabetic socks offer mild compression and have non-binding tops, instead of tight elastic. They stay on your feet without falling off.
Tight compression stockings should not be worn if you have peripheral vascular disease because it can compress the blood vessels and cause pain. In this case, diabetic socks would be a better option.
Why Should Diabetics Not Wear Black Socks?
It’s best to not get black socks when you purchase diabetic socks. This is because if you have neuropathy in your feet and develop a wound, you will likely not see the drainage on your socks. However, if you wear white socks, slight drainage in your socks would be visible and alert you that there is a problem.
Where Can You Buy Diabetic Socks?
You can buy diabetic socks online, at retail stores, medical equipment stores, or at your local hospital. Diabetic socks are usually not covered by insurance. The price for diabetic socks can range anywhere from $5 to over $100 depending on the type of socks you get and how many you get.
How High Should Diabetic Socks Be?
Knee-high socks should be worn by diabetics who suffer from leg swelling and leg ulcers. If you suffer from diffuse neuropathy, knee-high stockings will allow for the most protection. Ankle-high and crew-length socks can be used by most other people.
How Do You Wash Diabetic Socks?
Diabetic socks can be washed in the washer after use. Make sure to air dry them or dry them in low heat. You can wear a pair of diabetic socks for up to 6 months as long as you wash them regularly. When the sock is showing signs of wear, it should be replaced.
Which Is Better: Compression Socks or Diabetic Socks?
Diabetic socks are appropriate for people who have diabetes with neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease.
Compression stockings should be used by people who suffer from generalized swelling in their legs. Medical-grade compression stockings are designed to reduce swelling.
Although diabetics can choose to wear compression stockings if their legs are swollen, they should not wear them if they have peripheral vascular disease.
In conclusion, sock selection should be done carefully. A lot of emphases are often placed on diabetic shoes, but diabetic socks are incredibly important to maintaining healthy feet, especially if you suffer from neuropathy. If you have neuropathy, make sure to avoid walking barefoot to reduce your injury of wounds and infections.
So which socks should you buy?
Here are my top recommended anti-microbial breathable diabetic socks that you can purchase on Amazon: Doctor’s Choice Diabetic Socks for Women, Neuropathy Socks
If you are looking for a breathable well-fitted sock with a blister guard, this is the one I would get on Amazon: Scholl’s Women’s Advanced Relief Blisterguard Casuals Crew
Have you ever worn diabetic socks? Did you notice any benefits from wearing them? I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below!
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