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Are Diabetic Socks The Same As Compression Socks?

INTRODUCTION

Diabetes makes life more challenging and complicated for individuals who develop this condition. The patient constantly has to be on guard, ensuring that his/her blood sugar level does not spike up, and their feet stay out of harm’s way.

Many accessories and inventions have come into existence, with the specific purpose of helping diabetic patients stay healthy, safe and protected. You may have heard of diabetic socks for foot care and how it prevents many foot complications from developing.

Diabetic socks feature special designs that regulate a healthy blood flow, eliminate the accumulation of excess moisture, and keep the feet safe from injuries. Manufacturers use high-quality fibers for diabetic socks that help keep the feet drier than the regular socks.

Along with diabetic socks, you may have often come across the term “compression socks” as well. Are they the same as diabetic socks? Do they have separate benefits or the same for diabetic patients?

Let’s look at the details below.

COMPRESSION SOCK vs. DIABETIC SOCKS

The first fact to note is that compression socks and diabetic socks are not the same. They are vastly different in terms of purpose, use and benefits. Manufacturers design diabetic socks with the intent of protecting the feet against injuries. Besides protecting feet from sores as blisters, these socks regulate and ensure healthy blood flow. For this purpose, the diabetic socks are always loose-fitting and keep moisture, additional pressure and injuries away.

Diabetic socks exist to minimize the pressure on your legs and feet. You will find them feeling very gentle on your skin, and the material is soft, it eliminates the rough abrasion that could give birth to blisters and ulcers.

Compression socks are opposite in many ways from this.

On the other hand, compression socks fit snugly and have a design that does not enhance blood flow, rather restricting it. Compression socks work to prevent the build-up of fluids because they have to prevent the blood from pooling at the feet and lower legs in individuals with circulatory issues. This function is generally not applicable for those diabetic patients who suffer from poor blood circulation.

Having clarified this, let’s look at the specific benefits of diabetic socks and compression socks both.

DIABETIC SOCKS

Diabetes is a condition wherein there is always the risk of blood sugar levels raging out of control, especially one is not careful. It can also result in foot problems such as diabetic neuropathy, a condition involving nerve damage.

Diabetic neuropathy renders your feet, incapable of feeling hot and cold sensations in your feet or even feeling pain. This condition can mess with the blood vessels as well and give rise to circulation problems for you. In such an occurrence, any sores or cuts you suffer will not heal properly.

This is where diabetic socks come to the rescue. They are the innovations that help diabetic patients lie confidently without the fear of suffering from foot problems. The loose-fitting, non-binding and comfortable design of the diabetic socks ensures that your feet stay safe at all times.

You will always note how diabetic socks have a non-binding, seamless and moisture-wicking make because they work to keep your feet dry and protected. They keep away bacteria growth and include extra padding to cush your sensitive foot areas and minimize pressure.

You will also note how most diabetic socks are available in white color or very light colors. This instantly alerts the wearers of any draining wounds, cuts or injuries the person did not feel but sustained.

You will find diabetic socks in wool, spandex, nylon or combed cotton material. They are lightweight and cool, so your feet receive a sufficient amount of air and space for circulation. The toes of the diabetic socks have flat seams while the heels have extra cushioning.

The flat seams will keep away irritation in your toe area while the additional cushioning will increase the support and comfort level. You can find diabetic socks of varying lengths, as suits your needs, including no-show, crew, ankle, low cut and knee-length.

COMPRESSION SOCKS

Compression socks are advisable for those diabetic patients whose circulation problems cause their legs and feet to swell. The compression socks work by regulating a better circulation of blood, easing discomfort and making sure the blood does not collect in the legs and feet.

People usually opt for compression socks when they want to relieve the pain they develop in their legs and feet from extended periods of sitting or standing. You will find mild to moderate compression in diabetic compression stockings. This means that the strongest support the socks will give is at your ankles and ceases gradually upwards, closer to your knees.

The knee-length compression socks employ a stronger elastic material because they have to apply a bit of a squeeze on your legs. This compression action forces the blood back to your heart and can prevent blood clots from forming. Similarly, the socks even eliminate the swelling in your legs.

Doctors will recommend compression stockings to those diabetic patients who generally require a preventative measure for additional comfort.  Compression socks also work to cure the DVT condition in patients (deep vein thrombosis). Long-distance runners also commonly favor these socks because it keeps their legs from tiring out during the strenuous activities.

HOW COMPRESSION SOCKS HELP IN DIABETES

Diabetic patients can benefit in several ways by using compression socks, but only if they have the kind of conditions that require the use of diabetic socks. 

The benefits include:

  • Protect your feet from infections, blisters and ulcers
  • Minimizes swelling
  • Prevents the formation of blood clots (DVT)
  • Promotes proper blood circulation

For the best effects, you must always put on the compression socks right from the hour you wake up, and your feet haven’t had a chance to swell. Similarly, it is best to remove the socks right before you get into bed.

BENEFITS OF DIABETIC SOCKS

Diabetic socks have several health benefits for diabetic patients. These include:

  • Diabetic socks reduce cold feet. As a result of developing diabetes or pre-diabetes, many patients suffer a poor blood flow in the legs and have cold feet. Diabetic socks have better materials that help retain the heat to warm your feet. It is even better to use silver diabetic socks. These contain the heat within and transfer it to your feet and legs.
  • Diabetic socks offer maximum protection to the feet against chafing. The soft materials and the flat seams around the toe area eliminate irritation and abrasion. The additional cushioning also reduces aching feet.
  • The lose-fitting and non-binding tops of diabetic socks regulate better circulation, which speeds up the healing of injuries. These socks will never leave indentations as regular socks do on your legs and feet. At the same time, they are not loose enough to slide down your ankles during wear-time.
  • Diabetic feet that become warm and sweaty are the breeding soil for bacteria. You practically invite foot infections if your feet are wet and open wounds exist. With diabetic socks, the feet remain dry, and fibers of the material wick-moisture effectively. Normal socks do not feature this drying mechanism.
  • Nerve damage can give rise to varying levels of pain. Diabetic socks are the best combatants here with their non-binding tops. The higher pressure areas are more susceptible to ulcers and blisters. Diabetic socks are especially relieving for the people with nerve damage because the extra cushioning alleviates their pain.

WHY SHOULD YOU WEAR DIABETIC SOCKS?

Diabetes renders you vulnerable to several health complications, including foot infections. These can turn fatal, often leading to amputation and even death in the most severe cases and as the result of negligence.

Nerve damage compromises your healing capacity, and herein starts the problem. If a patient develops neuropathy, things become especially more complicated for them. Diabetic socks play a vital role here by providing maximum protection to the feet and preventing the risk of complications. The enhanced circulation in the legs, too, always works in favor of diabetic patients.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Each a vital part of the medical hosiery, compression socks and diabetic socks have their purposes and benefits for patients. Doctors usually recommend compression socks to patients with improper blood flow. The binding of compression socks ensures this happens.

Diabetic socks are advisable for those diabetic patients who need a better circulation in the legs and suffer from foot complications. The non-binding and loose-fitting design of the diabetic socks ensures there is good and proper circulation in the legs. They also provide added comfort and protection, thereby minimizing the risks of foot infections.

To find out which pair is the best for your conditions, you must always consult your healthcare provider.

 

1 comment

  • I’m a former athlete and normal cocks create a large indentation around me legs. Doctors see this but none recommend treatment. I’ve spend 100s of dollars buying socks that will not help my condition. What kind of doctor should I consult. Can they help me write a prescription for the right socks?

    Ron Snowden

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