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What Are Diabetic Socks?

Updated on January 6, 2014

What Are Diabetic Socks?

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as diabetic socks. Most people think that diabetic socks are just standard cotton socks you can buy at your local Wal-Mart but truth be told, Diabetic socks are designed specifically for diabetic feet and not only do they offer protection, but they also provide comfort while creating a healthy environment for feet. Diabetics often have sensitive feet which require this extra precaution and use of diabetic socks. Because of neuropathy, diabetics may not know if they have any calluses, blisters or open sores on their feet. Poor circulation is commonly associated with diabetes, preventing open sores from healing properly. Open sores combined with the warm and moist shoe environment create a perfect setting for microbial growth that can result in infection.

Diabetic Socks with white soles in to determine if there are open sores or blisters on the foot.
Diabetic Socks with white soles in to determine if there are open sores or blisters on the foot. | Source

Why Do Diabetics Need Diabetic Socks?

Diabetes affects the entire body, not just the pancreas. The disease of diabetes results in many other conditions that are detrimental to the body. Many foot related problems are also a result of diabetes. The most common problems that affect a diabetic's foot are listed below:

  • Neuropathy is nerve damage that results in the inability to sense your physical surroundings such as temperature, touch or pain. A diabetic with neuropathy will most likely be unable to feel a foot injury. If they continue walking on an injured foot and are not aware it may lead to a greater injury. Something as small as a pebble in the shoe could lead to an open sore and if left untreated, the injury would most likely lead to an infection. Neuropathy prevents a diabetic from knowing if they have an injury on their foot.
  • Skin changes are also a common result of diabetes and skin changes that occur in the foot need extra special attention. The skin on the foot area will often become dry which will cause cracking or peeling. An injury like this combined with diabetic neuropathy can cause small cuts to become open sores. Skin changes are a result of nerve functions being lost in the foot. The nerves controlling the oil and moisture production of the foot no longer able to function properly resulting in dry, cracking skin.
  • Calluses are a result of pressure and friction. Areas of high pressure under the foot are common occurrences for diabetics and become thicker if they are not trimmed nor managed. The callus will eventually break down and turn into an ulcer if not properly managed.
  • Foot ulcers are the leading cause of diabetic foot problems. These open sores are most commonly found on the ball of the foot or on the big toe. An ulcer can become infection and this infection can then spread to the surrounding tissue and bone.
  • Poor Circulation in diabetics is caused by the hardening of blood vessels in the foot and leg. The blood vessels also become hardened resulting in poor circulation, causing a slower rate of healing for a wound, as well as a decrease in the ability for fighting off an infection.
  • Amputation is extremely prevalent in diabetics due to a combination of the listed conditions above.

Diabetic Socks are Different from Regular Socks

Diabetic Socks are Different from Regular Socks

Diabetic socks address the many different foot condition needs of the diabetic foot. Their design and construction are a perfect choice for sensitive feet. Below are a list of common features typically found in diabetic socks.

  • Roomier fit to accommodate swelling
  • Top opening is wider and looser to accommodate various foot sizes and shapes
  • The interior is either features a smooth toe seam, or a reverse seam construction to help reduce friction against the toes
  • Most socks are made of soft materials to reduce the formation of blisters and calluses
  • Padding at the heel and ball of the feet
  • Use of anti-microbial materials such as silver, copper or gold fibers to help reduce the growth of bacteria and fungi that may cause odor and infection

Diabetic socks are just another part of the vast array of tools that a diabetic needs to ensure a healthy life.

Diabetic Socks Video


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