Article written by Diabetic Sock Club an American owned small business
focused on the health benefits of proper foot care for those living with diabetes.

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How to choose the right diabetic socks for you

Due to nerve loss that weakens your muscles, diabetes patients are more likely to suffer foot injuries and infections. This decreased sensitivity is brought on by nerve injury, which considerably increases the likelihood of more severe disease; infections are typically left untreated. Diabetes also severely damages the nervous and circulatory systems, which lowers the body's ability to recover and may result in amputation. So how do diabetic socks deal with this medical issue?


With a few important exceptions, diabetic socks are a type of socks that look and feel like regular, everyday socks. They are made to prevent and treat the symptoms of diabetes as well as lowering the risk of a foot injury. The best diabetic socks will accomplish this by minimizing friction and pressure without being constrictive, promoting blood flow and circulation, and keeping feet dry and comfortable.


Diabetic socks, in contrast to conventional socks, can also include handy assistive features, such as a seamless design with various stitching structures to maintain uniformity throughout the sock, ensuring that no bothersome bits of material can rub against, dig into, or irritate the feet. To make wounds and any discharge readily visible, they can also be purposefully painted white (especially the soles of the socks), as a person with diabetes may otherwise be blind to these problems.


Finding the ideal pair involves choosing the socks that best match your needs.


 

How can I choose the right diabetic socks for me?


  1. Ask a physician or podiatrist for advice on what's best for you.

Before you take any action, we advise speaking to your friendly neighborhood GP or a podiatrist if you have diabetes and start to experience foot pain, severe discomfort of any kind, tingling, swelling, injuries, or numbness that results in damage. They will be able to diagnose your symptoms, assess their severity, and advise you on other issues relating to diabetes and your feet, prevention, and ways to get them healthy again.

Even if you are wearing the diabetic socks that your doctor prescribed for you, if your symptoms continue or worsen, you should get in touch with your healthcare team immediately. Your more severe and persistent symptoms may point to a distinct health issue that calls for a different approach to treatment.


  1. Work out the type of sock you require

As soon as you understand the scenario well, determine the sort of diabetic socks that are most suited for your condition and symptoms. What are the most effective socks for people with diabetes who experience symptoms comparable to mine? Socks with compression? Crew socks? Socks for people with diabetes?


Compression socks may be ideal if your symptoms include swelling and fluid retention because they help with blood flow and circulation management, which is essential for reducing swelling and associated symptoms. With their pressure point management and blood flow circulation, diabetic crew socks might be sufficient for more typical daily usage and milder symptoms. Then specially designed diabetic socks would be the most incredible option for people dealing with various symptoms. Having one pair of socks that can assist with all of your different foot-related issues makes managing the following easier:


  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Neuropathy
  • Circulation/blood flow issues
  • Friction and pressure relief
  • reducing/avoiding infections, cuts, wounds, and blisters (plus identifying that something has occurred that diabetics may not be aware of due to numbness)

  1. Ensure the comfort

Comfort is crucial because the body portion that bears the most weight and strain is the feet. When choosing your pair of socks, ensure your socks fit properly and are the appropriate size – this is crucial. For your diabetic socks to be comfortable, you must also search for the attributes listed below in addition to the correct size.


  • Seamless: Pressure points on the feet might be brought on by seams. Seamed socks can irritate your skin and lead to blisters or sores. The majority of diabetic socks don't have them. So that they won't bunch up or rub against your skin, socks must fit precisely. Seamless socks are essential for avoiding injuries as well.
  • Moisture-wicking and breathable: Keeping feet dry is critical to avoid skin infections. Acrylic fibers can help keep your feet dry.
  • Soft materials: Socks with a soft material may be more comfortable. Diabetes patients must be gentle with their feet. Look for soft fabrics such as wool or bamboo in your socks. These yarns can lessen friction that leads to blisters because they won't chafe against the skin.
  • Warm: Diabetes can narrow blood arteries, reducing blood flow to the feet—warm footwear fabrics enhance blood circulation.
  • Square toe box: Narrow socks can pinch the toes, causing pain and allowing moisture to accumulate between the toes. It is best to choose a square-toe box to prevent that from happening. Additionally, it promotes healthy circulation and allows blood to reach the toes without restriction.
  • Fitted: Many diabetic socks conform to the leg and foot. This stops the sagging fabric from causing any damage to the skin by rubbing against it. Avoid wearing overly tight socks or elastic at the top that could dig into your leg if you have diabetes and poor circulation.
  • Padded: A little more padding provides comfort but also has valuable advantages. The padding of the sock protects the foot from injury and cushions it. These soles are often made of white fabric so that blood from a wound or damage can be easily seen even though diabetic people with nerve problems cannot feel it.
  • Anti-fungal/bacterial: Many diabetic socks are constructed with copper or silver-infused yarn to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. These socks are not only odor-free but also antibacterial.
  • Available in lighter colors: Although black socks are suitable for people with diabetes because their functionality is unaffected by color, wearing lighter colors is encouraged. Many people with diabetes have numbness around their feet, making it challenging to sense discomfort and fluid leakage. White diabetic socks may make it simpler for people with diabetes to identify the wounds and injuries they have on their feet.

  1. Time to try this out

Test the socks as you would on a typical day to see if they serve your intended purpose. Their mission has been accomplished if they can offer the support, additional alleviation, and comfort they should be. This gives the ideal opportunity for you to put those socks to use and get some relief from your symptoms.



Tips for protecting and caring for your feet


People with diabetes, especially those diagnosed with neuropathy, should take the following foot care advice very seriously and wear high-quality socks.


  • Improve your blood sugar levels

  • Bringing your blood sugars to a healthy level is the most crucial thing you can do to safeguard your feet from infection and amputation.


    Monitor your blood sugar levels to determine what causes them to rise or fall. Don't miss meals, and eat at regular intervals.


    The first step in achieving your blood sugar and HbA1c goal ranges as a person with type 1 or type 2 diabetes is understanding the ranges, but the tricky part is taking the necessary steps to get there. But take note also that it's better to try than do nothing.


  • Be extra careful when exercising

  • Regular exercise will maintain healthy blood flow. Aim to exercise your body every day for at least 30 minutes.


    Put on some comfortable shoes and go for a walk. When your feet have open sores, avoid activity. Find out the ideal activity for you by consulting your doctor.


  • Never go barefoot

  • People with neuropathy must always safeguard their feet by wearing shoes since neuropathy affects foot sensation. If you have neuropathy, never go barefoot because even a small scratch or irritation on your feet could become infected and progress into an ulcer if it is not spotted. Even a ballet-like slipper or thin shoe is better than nothing at all.


  • Regularly check your feet

  • Every day, check your feet for any changes to the skin or nails, including cuts, redness, swelling, ulcers, blisters, corns, and calluses. You can also set a reminder on your phone. If you're having trouble seeing your feet, use a mirror or get a family member to assist you.


    For instance, you'll be looking for minor cuts, blisters, or corns that start to seem bright red, bloated, bleeding, oozing pus, changing to a green or brown color, or emitting a pungent odor.


    If you currently have a foot ulcer, daily foot checks are essential to promptly treating any new cuts or ulcers and lowering your chance of having your foot amputated.

     

  • Change your socks once during the day.

  • Even the best pair of diabetic socks can need to be switched out for a dry pair halfway through the day if you spend the entire day on your feet at work or you sweat a lot when exercising. 


    Wear natural fabrics like cotton, wool, or a cotton-wool combination. Avoid wearing socks with seams that could irritate your skin and lead to blisters. Avoid tight socks.


    If you don't want to spend the money on pricey diabetic socks, switching out your daily socks once or twice can be very beneficial.  


  • Trim your toenails and clean your feet regularly

  • After a wash, trim your toenails while they're still soft. You can also give your feet a short rinse daily under the bathroom faucet. Trim them straight across, then use a nail file to smooth them. Keep your toes from cutting into the corners. Keep your toenail corners from growing into the skin. It might result in an ingrown toenail.


    This "ingrown" will cause further rubbing and discomfort in your shoes. Additionally, they could make it more challenging to see little wounds or blisters close to the ends of your toes.


    Ask a loved one, a nail technician, or a podiatrist (foot doctor) to take care of your feet if you cannot do so comfortably. Bring your nail supplies if you receive pedicures at a nail salon. Although it could be embarrassing, doing it helps prevent having to amputate your feet.


  • Wear good shoes

  • Diabetes patients don't have time for footwear that is too cheap or poorly made. Your socks and shoes are the only pieces of apparel that are worth the money. A good pair of shoes makes a big difference. Always wear shoes, hard-soled slippers, or equivalent footwear to protect your feet. You should avoid walking barefoot or merely wearing socks when walking on pebbles, tacks, or tiny shards of glass because doing so could cut your feet. Put on footwear that will shield your feet from elements like wetness and cold. Wear slippers at home.


    Your feet deserve a decent place to live all day, whether in a shoe for work, shopping, or exercise.


  • Call your doctor if you have any concerns

  • You may believe you can manage your diabetes independently, but if you have any concerns about how quickly your feet are healing, don't hesitate to get in touch with your healthcare team and check it. Better to be safe than sorry!

    Moreover, do not hold off until your next checkup if you encounter any of these signs. Visit your primary care physician or a podiatrist right away when:


    • During physical activity, you have leg pain or cramping in your buttocks, thighs, or calves.
    • Tingling, burning, or pain in your feet.
    • Loss of touch sensitivity or a poor capacity to feel heat or cold
    • Gradual alteration in the form of your feet.
    • Loss of hair on your feet, lower legs, and toes.
    • Your feet's skin is dry and cracked.
    • Your feet's color and temperature change.
    • Yellow, thick toenails.
    • Between your toes, fungus diseases like athlete's foot.
    • An ingrown toenail, corn, blister, sore, or ulcer

    If you have diabetes, you know taking care of your feet is essential. Since purchasing enough diabetic socks might be expensive, you might be unable to afford to wear them all the time. However, you might buy a few pairs to wear when engaging in activities that increase your risk of blisters, cuts, and sweat on your feet. Your best option for avoiding foot issues is the combination of regular care of your feet at home and attending all of your doctor's appointments.

     

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