Diabetic Socks - What to Know
Diabetic socks are a special type of sock that helps reduce potential for swelling in the ankles and feet. Many diabetics have very sensitive feet, ankles and lower limbs, and socks may help provide protection for such sensitivity.
Even more important, socks aid in a reduction of edema or accumulation of fluid in the lower limbs, as well as offer protection against scrapes, cuts and bruises. If you or a loved one is diabetic, your doctor has more than likely told you to be especially careful against skin tears, cuts, ulcers or other damage to your feet and ankles. This is because diabetics may experience slower healing than non-diabetics may.
For some diabetics, a cut on the foot that is not adequately taking care of may develop into a full-blown foot ulcer that leads to infection, increased tissue damage and, in worst case scenarios, sepsis or blood infection and gangrene.
The main benefit of socks is that it helps to prevent swelling of the foot and ankle. Even better, socks absorb moisture caused by sweating. Why does this matter? Because damp feet lead to blisters and skin irritation that often develop into open sores. Open sores lead to increased risk of infection and slow healing.
Socks are often constructed with a polyester and cotton blend, offering superior comfort that meets your medical needs at the same time. Many socks are made in a one-piece construction design that eliminates course seams, thick or rough materials, and constricting bands. Talk to your local medical supply provider or doctor about the best type of socks that meet your needs.
Maintaining healthy feet as a diabetic is extremely important to your overall health. Why? Because erratic or high blood glucose levels in your blood may often precipitate poor circulation or blood flow and/or nerve damage.
For diabetics with nerve damage, it's often difficult to notice if you have a bruise, blister, or open sore or cut on your foot. Your foot is not sensitive to heat or cold. That's why it's important for diabetics to physically and visually examine their feet on a daily basis.
Socks and even diabetic shoes may help protect your feet against damage, injury, sores or infections. Wear shoes that don't constrict your feet or create constant friction inside the shoe.
In addition to wearing adequate shoes and socks, diabetics should see their doctor or podiatrist on a regular basis to ensure that shoes fit comfortably. Socks made of natural materials allow better air circulation. Wear shoes that have adequate space for you to wiggle your toes. Change your shoes at least once a day, and when possible, give your feet or break by taking off your shoes and socks and elevating your feet for 30 minutes to an hour every day.
You can purchase socks from your local medical supply store or go online to search for diabetic sock providers on the Internet. Socks come in a variety of styles, colors and functions, and range from over-the-calf to crew-socks. Diabetic socks average between s$7 and $15 a pair, depending on the style, fabric, and materials and construction used in the sock.
Three popular manufacturers of socks; FootSmart, OrthoFeet, and TheraSock, offer a variety of colors, styles and fabrics from which to choose. You may need to experiment a little bit with diabetic socks until you find the brand and style you like best.
The most important thing for a diabetic to remember is to maintain and pay attention to foot health and do your best to protect your feet from injury. Be aware that you may experience diminished sensation in your feet, and socks will help relieve the discomfort of chronic edema or swelling and foot pain. Choose a sock that doesn't restrict your circulation, and doesn't sag or bunch. Your feet will thank you for it.