The primary purpose of diabetic socks is to keep your feet dry, decrease your risk for foot injury and avoid preventing or slowing blood circulation. The difference between diabetic socks and regular cotton socks is that they are usually are made of materials that wick away moisture, are fitted, padded and are non-binding.
Because people with diabetes are at higher risk of foot injuries and infection due to damage to their circulatory and nervous systems caused by high blood sugar levels, they would benefit from wearing diabetic socks.
Nerve damage, or neuropathy, decreases sensation and increases risk of injury, particularly on the bottom of the feet and can also cause people with diabetes to be unaware of an injury and delay treatment. Circulatory problems also make it harder for wounds to heal.
For these reasons and more, proper foot care is critically important for people with diabetes and diabetic socks are designed with these specific issues in mind.
- Look at and touch your feet everyday
- Keep your feet clean and dry
- Cut or file toenails with the shape of the toe, smoothing all sharp edges
- Moisturize dry skin with a lotion
- Avoid injury to the feet. Have corns, calluses or ingrown toenails treated by a professional
- Wear well-fitting, soft leather or fabric shoes
- Check shoes daily for cracks, pebbles, or other things that might damage your feet
- Get your blood glucose under control
- Wear well-fitting socks, without a thick toe seam, made of material that wicks moisture away from skin
Be aware of:
- Changes in skin color or temperature
- Swelling in the foot or ankle
- Pain in the legs
- Open sores on the feet that are slow to heal
- Ingrown toenails or toenails infected with fungus
- Dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel
If you have a foot problem that is slow to go away or continues to get worse, contact a healthcare professional immediately.