Living with diabetes is no simple task, especially your feet. They are a common target. Therefore, you need proper footwear to prevent any foot complications. Often times, people reach for diabetic socks for men and women. These are special socks that improve blood flow, stop excess moisture, and prevent foot injuries. Spun with high quality fibers, these socks keep the feet drier than normal socks. Similar to diabetic shoes, the bottom of the socks have extra cushion to provide support and protection.
Diabetic socks versus compression socks
Are compression socks the same as diabetic socks? The answer is no. The two are very different kinds of socks. Sometimes diabetics may need to wear compression socks. However, compression socks can create discomfort. That is because compression socks purposely bind tight to your legs and feet. Men’s and women’s diabetic socks are loose and regular socks is somewhere in between the two.
What is the difference between diabetic and compression socks?
Diabetic socks puts less stress on your feet and legs. The socks are also more gentle on your skin. They come in less abrasive materials that cause less blisters. These include wool, combed cotton, nylon, spandex, and wool. Lightweight diabetic socks allow for air to circulate to keep the feet cool. Also, the toe area will have flat seams and extra cushion on the heel. Flat seams prevents irritation on the toe area. More cushioning provides more comfort and support.
On the other hand, people wear compression socks to relieve pain in their legs from standing or sitting too long. These knee length socks use strong elastic material to put the squeeze on the legs. Compression forces blood back to your heart. Therefore, compression socks can stop blood clots and swollen legs. Plus, these socks help to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In addition, long distance runners sometimes wear them to prevent tired legs.
What is the difference between regular and diabetic socks?
Non-diabetics and people without foot issues wear normal socks. In general, diabetics should not wear regular socks. Regular socks have seams that may irritate the toes. Meanwhile, diabetic socks are often seamless or have flat seams. Also, traditional socks have heavy elasticity that restricts blood flow in the lower extremities. This can cause foot problems. Also, normal socks mainly consists of cotton. A 100% cotton sock can create excess moisture. Wet feet are a breeding ground for infections.
Why do diabetics need diabetic socks?
Diabetics are more likely to get foot infections. Nerve damage and compromised healing is the cause of this problem. For diabetics with neuropathy, the complications are much more serious if they do not use proper footwear. Diabetic socks protect your feet from complications and improves circulation in the legs.
What are the special features of diabetic socks?
There are unique features in diabetic socks that make them perfect for diabetics or anyone that wants more comfort. You can even wear diabetic dress socks to work. For an in depth guide on these socks, read here.
- Seamless Toes: People with diabetic neuropathy need socks without seams. Otherwise, the seams can rub and irritate the skin. The abrasions can result in blisters, ulcers, and infections.
- Loose tops: The sock tops should be loose and non-binding. Socks that are too tight can restrict circulation. Poor blood circulation can cause nerve damage.
- Cushion: Socks should have more cushion support on the sole to protect against injuries. In addition, the cushioning should go from the toes to the heel.
- Light Color: Buy a light color sock to easily spot wounds.
- Minimize Moisture: Keeping the feet dry prevents foot infections. That is why most diabetic socks use a variety of fibers. These include nylon, cotton, and polyester. Together, they use wick away more moisture than cotton alone.
- Anti-bacterial: This feature helps to minimize bacteria that causes infections.
What are the benefits of wearing diabetic socks?
Minimize cold feet – Diabetics or people with pre-diabetes commonly have problems with cold feet because of poor blood flow in the legs. Better materials retain heat to keep your feet warm. Another option is diabetic socks with silver. These can absorb heat and transfer it back to your legs.
Increase foot circulation – Non-binding loose tops allows increased circulation to the legs. The increased circulation also helps with faster recovery from injury. These socks do not leave indentation marks at the top like other socks do. At the same time, diabetic socks do not slip down your ankles.
Prevent foot infections – The warm and wet conditions of your feet is a breeding ground for bacteria. Moisture and open wounds is a recipe for foot infections. Diabetic socks keeps the feet dry. Fibers such as cotton and wool along with nylon absorbs sweat and wicks it away. This is a drying mechanism that normal socks do not have.
Relieves pressure – Non-binding tops plays a big role in alleviating pain from nerve damage. Places with more pressure are more prone to blisters and ulcers. As a result, people with nerve damage will find relief with diabetic socks. That is because it has the padding to cushion the feet and relieve pressure. This is especially true for women with gestational diabetes.
Compression socks and diabetic socks are both medical hosiery that serve different purposes. Compression socks are binding to pool blood to your heart. On the other hand, diabetic socks are people with diabetes. They are non-binding to help improve circulation in the legs. Besides improved circulation, these socks offer more comfort and prevents foot infections. Diabetics should always wear these socks to maintain proper foot care.