What are diabetic socks? Advantages, costs and more
Diabetes is a disease that requires many medical devices for daily treatment and monitoring. The most common consumables include blood glucose meters, blood glucose test strips, lancets and syringes.
Although not many people think diabetic socks are necessary, they are crucial for better health and preventing various complications. If you're wondering whether to invest in diabetic socks, this article will help you decide by explaining the following topics:
What are diabetic socks?
Diabetic socks are specially designed socks to
1) reduce the pressure in the lower leg and foot
2) to prevent blistering on the skin surfaces and
3) minimize the accumulation of moisture.
Ultimately, it's about protecting your feet and offering maximum comfort. These socks are usually not elastic and seamless. The inelastic feature is the prevention of constrictions due to swelling tendencies in ordinary feet. The seamless design minimizes nerve friction and minimizes neurological discomfort and pain. These socks fit just fine to avoid calf restrictions due to a tight sock cord that can restrict blood flow. As the blood flow decreases, it becomes more difficult for the body to heal. High blood sugar associated with diabetes also slows down the immune system. Specialized socks are one way to combat this duo of problems to prevent the need for future amputation or even death from foot injuries.
Apart from the two special structures, these socks are always lightly padded to prevent injuries. At the same time, moisture transport is increased so that sweat and moisture from the shoes do not remain between the sock and the foot. If you keep your feet dry, your feet are at less risk of developing blisters and fungal infections.
Who should use diabetic socks?
Not all people with diabetes need to wear diabetic socks. Diabetics with decreased pedaling momentum (measured at the top of the foot and behind the inner ankle), changes in foot color and temperature, nerve damage or other sensation changes, or who frequently experience foot injuries such as abrasions should consider switching to diabetic socks to help to ensure better protection. These are definitely candidates for diabetic socks. If your feet are sensitive to temperature changes and prone to redness, irritation, and/or swelling, then you should definitely wear them. If none of these symptoms are present, you can wear any type of socks. Even so, you should avoid wearing tight, loose, and lumpy socks, or those with uncomfortable seams or chafing seams.
If you are just pregnant and suffering from gestational diabetes, these socks will be the most beneficial for your swollen feet. Lightweight and highly breathable, they keep your feet warm and reduce the risk of developing blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
While you may not need diabetic socks on a regular basis, you may want to get a pair for upcoming trips. After long hours of sitting, your feet tend to swell. These diabetic socks are a perfect travel companion to keep your feet warm without putting pressure on them. Traveling is a bit dangerous, so it is recommended that everyone who travels takes out travel insurance. It's often said that if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel.
Types of diabetic socks
Material of diabetic socks
Diabetic socks are available in many different materials and lengths. Diabetic socks are often made from a combination of materials such as acrylic, merino wool, bamboo, charcoal and spandex. These materials offer higher moisture transport than conventional cotton socks, while elastane is less constricting than elastic. In addition, these materials are wrinkle-resistant to minimize the risk of material abrasion on the skin.
When an injury combines with bacteria and moisture, this complication can become a major threat to people with diabetes. Therefore, antimicrobial activity is an important feature of diabetic socks to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in moist and moisture-prone areas of the feet. What's also amazing about these socks is that the non-cotton materials like wool, bamboo, and charcoal have natural antimicrobial properties. In addition, some high-end diabetic socks even contain silver or copper threads to actively combat bacteria and fungi and prevent foot odor and infections.
Depending on your specific activity needs, you can purchase special diabetic socks with extra padding and different thicknesses. If you have to be on your feet for a long period of time every day, consider wearing socks with padding on the heels for extra support. If you run or exercise frequently, you may need socks with more padding around the ball of your foot to prevent friction-related ulcers. For other sports like tennis and soccer, toe padding is required to prevent potential toe injuries.
Padding can be made from the sock fibers themselves by increasing the number and thickness of thread loops. Gel padding is also a good option. Some gel formulas are proprietary; others are made of materials such as silicone. Regardless of the type of padding, research has found that padding further supports the sock's purpose in terms of moisture wicking, minimizing sensitivity and irritation, relieving pain and protecting against injury.
Available styles and lengths
Diabetic socks can be purchased depending on the purpose. In general, above-the-calf and above-the-knee styles are most beneficial for those with circulation issues. If you lead an active lifestyle, sports diabetic socks are available in both ankle and crew heights while still offering all the benefits and standards of a classic diabetic sock. Since the invention of the original diabetic socks, different brands have added many more patterns and colors to the collection. Different from the plain white or nude colored compression socks, these elegant diabetic socks easily match your work or casual fashion needs.
Intelligent diabetic socks
One of the latest developments in diabetic socks was the "Intelligent Sock". These socks use fiber optic sensors to monitor pressure, moisture and ankle angles to warn of the potential development of ulcers in those with nerve damage. The thought is that they can greatly reduce the number of amputations and deaths from foot ulcers and infections, since nerve damage leaves the affected person unable to feel pain.
When should you wear these socks?
It is usually recommended that people put on their diabetic socks from the moment they wake up until just before bedtime. The less time you are barefoot, the less likely you are to injure your feet by accidentally kicking or stepping on objects. The socks not only reduce the friction of the foot from the ground, but also keep your feet at an optimal temperature for better blood circulation.
Having said that you should wear socks as much as possible, change your socks as needed throughout the day. If you play sports or exercise, you should take off your socks, thoroughly clean your feet from sweat and moisture, and then put on a new pair of clean socks. In fact, many diabetics also choose to wear socks for various tasks throughout the day, such as walking. B. house socks, sports socks and work socks.
When traveling, especially by plane, people with circulatory problems should choose diabetic socks with light compression that, if possible, completely cover the calf and/or knee. The socks go a long way in restoring blood flow to the heart from the lower legs and feet. If you're wearing socks with copper and silver threads, don't worry about the socks triggering the security check alarms, as there isn't enough metal to set off the metal detector. If you have any concerns, please inform the officials about your socks in advance and bring your doctor's recommendation for the diabetic socks. Should the detector fail, the officials remain much more understanding.
How do diabetic socks differ from compression socks and regular socks?
When you see the price of a pair of diabetic socks, it's usually around the price of a pair of quality wool socks. So what makes them different from regular socks? Here's a closer look:
Traditional socks are often loose-fitting and stretch easily, forming lumps around the heels and under the toes. They contain a main seam running over the toes, which can irritate sensitive pressure points in the feet. They are usually made of cotton and have elastic, which not only traps moisture between the sock and the foot, but also restricts circulation at the top of the sock, which can become tighter throughout the day.
Diabetic socks, on the other hand, adapt perfectly to your feet. They conform to the wearer's feet rather than strangling them. They are neither the traditional sock nor a compression sock. They contain no elastic and have minimal or no stitching. They do not clump even when worn or stretched. To better fit the wearer and to avoid excess fabric creating lumps, manufacturers have put more effort into producing more accurate sizing for an ideal fit. To avoid gross abrasion on the skin, diabetic socks are often made from finer fabrics made from materials like wool, bamboo, charcoal, nylon, and spandex blends. Additionally, as discussed earlier, diabetic socks have extra padding and padding at sensitive pressure points to further prevent friction injuries. Most of the time, the cushioning runs along the bottom of the sock, around the toes and at the heel of the foot.
The main purpose of compression stockings is to apply enough pressure around the legs to increase the blood pressure needed to pump blood back into the veins. This process allows more blood to return to the heart quickly, preventing swelling and blood clots from forming. They are used by athletes to improve performance or for diseases such as edema, venous insufficiency, varicose veins, lymphedema and deep vein thrombosis, as well as during pregnancy. Unlike normal socks and diabetic socks, these compression socks are tight and binding. Due to the specific size requirement, they are expensive.
Compression in diabetics
While some diabetics also suffer from peripheral arterial disease, an important distinction is that compression stockings are not a viable option. According to the American Diabetes Association, one in three people over the age of 50 has peripheral arterial disease. This additional condition increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. PAD is mainly atherosclerosis in the legs that is partially or completely in the arteries. As with compression stockings, when you add compression from all sides of the lower leg, you can further restrict the flow of oxygenated blood to this already deprived area, greatly propelling the wearer toward future amputation.
Diabetics can get diabetic socks with light compression, which can be both helpful and safe. These typically increase blood pressure by 10-15 mmHg, whereas compression stockings can increase blood pressure by around 20 mmHg and some compression stockings by 25-40 mmHg. Some hospitals use diabetics and/or compression stockings when a patient cannot move much or needs to stay in their bed. They can also be used after major operations to ensure good blood circulation in the legs. However, a diabetic patient should not attempt to wear compression socks unless prescribed by a doctor.
What are the benefits of diabetic socks?
The overall benefit of wearing diabetic socks is protection and increased alertness.
· Protect from friction, blisters and ulcers
· Cushion feet from injury and rubbing
· Doesn't wrinkle and feel uncomfortable
· Adapt to the feet without constricting
· Contains no tight, irritating elastic fibers.
· Show the presence of blood or other discharge from injuries
· Antimicrobial: Combats odor and bacterial infection
· Can provide mild compression for better blood flow
· Protects sensitive pressure points
· You minimize the risks of future amputations.
What are the disadvantages of using diabetic socks?
There really aren't any downsides to wearing diabetic socks unless you don't want comfortable feet! Even people without diabetes can wear these socks if they want to feel more comfortable. You may need to purchase a slightly larger shoe to accommodate the cushioning of some diabetic socks.
What is venous insufficiency?
Venous insufficiency is when the veins don't work properly and blood doesn't flow back to the heart easily. This venous stasis causes blood to pool in the lower legs, ankles, and feet. The most obvious symptom is swelling of the feet. Other symptoms of venous insufficiency include:
· Pain in the legs decreases due to improved blood flow when the legs are elevated
· Leg cramps and a feeling of tightness
· Itching and thickening of the skin of the lower legs
· Change in color of the skin in the lower legs and/or feet
· Development of ulcers on the legs or feet
· Varicose veins
· Throbbing pains in the legs
· Your legs feel heavy and weak
In general, people with venous insufficiency are advised to use compression stockings to increase blood pressure in the lower leg by reducing the diameter of blood vessels. While diabetics should not wear true compression socks, those with venous insufficiency can wear diabetic socks for mild compression purposes.
Diabetic socks can prevent amputations
In diabetics, amputations are usually due to a build-up of tissue infections and poor circulation. Blame it on diabetic neuropathies, which significantly reduces awareness of foot injuries. Left untreated, unknown minor injuries and foot ulcers can lead to serious infections that eventually affect the bone and then the entire foot. When too many tissues and blood vessels are infected, amputation of the affected limb is the only option.
According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2010 there were nearly 73,000 non-traumatic lower extremity amputations in diabetics age 20 and older. This was approximately 60% of all non-traumatic lower extremity amputations in this age group. In the United States, more than 90% of amputations performed are due to circulatory disorders due to diabetes, of which 60-80% are lower leg or foot amputations.
To avoid amputations, it is best to prevent foot ulcers and injuries from occurring. Aside from your usual diabetes regimen and proper foot care, your footwear plays an essential role in keeping your diabetes symptoms at bay. Although the healthcare system does not include diabetic socks as necessities for diabetic patients, you should still investigate whether diabetic socks will help you maintain an active lifestyle.
Are diabetic socks a misnomer?
The answer is no. Diabetic socks are exclusively developed with all the specific requirements necessary for comfortable and healthy feet in diabetics. Anyone can wear these socks just because of the quality and higher comfort features, and some people with circulatory problems can benefit from the specific elastic designs. But it's the diabetes that people would really benefit from ALL of the design features and see the change in their lifestyle.
How expensive are diabetic socks?
When it comes to price, a pair of diabetic socks ranges from $2 to $140 depending on the material, style, and tightness of the socks. So unless you have special needs, everyday diabetic socks are actually very affordable and will likely last longer than your average regular socks.
Tips for buying diabetic socks
Although there are so many styles and designs to choose from, white diabetic socks are often recommended for everyday wear. This is because the easiest way to spot injuries is on your feet. Especially for people with nerve damage, the white color allows the wearer to see blood or discharge from wounds or calluses. At the same time, it is easiest for the wearer to determine if the socks are dirty and need to be changed.
When it comes to length, larger socks that cut above the knee, above the calf level are typical recommendations. The height of these socks improves blood circulation and has a positive effect on wound healing and reducing swelling in the feet and ankles due to lowering blood pressure.
Regardless of the brand, size, and style of diabetic socks you buy, you should only buy one pair to see how you like those socks first. It may take some trial and error to find the right size and brand for you. After that, you can buy more to meet your needs. Watch out for newer, better styles, though. Don't be afraid to try other brands. Sometimes styles are discontinued and brands may go out of business. For this reason, do not try to exceed stock levels. Like anything else, the fabric can age and lose its natural elasticity. Even without wearing them, your brand new socks will have less elasticity and tear much easier just by sitting in camp.