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How Diabetic Stockings Are Different From Compression Stockings

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Living with diabetes is not easy, especially your feet. They are the common goal. Therefore, you need the right shoes to prevent any foot complications. Many times, people buy diabetic socks for both men and women. These are special socks that improve blood flow, block excess water and prevent foot injuries. These socks are spun from high-quality fibers to keep your feet dry better than regular socks. Similar to diabetic shoes, the socks have extra cushioning on the bottom for support and protection.

Diabetic Socks vs Compression Socks

Are compression stockings the same as diabetic stockings? The answer is no. When comparing diabetic socks and compression socks, there is a big difference between the two. Sometimes people with diabetes may need to wear compression stockings. However, compression socks can cause discomfort. That's because compression socks are purposefully tied tightly around your legs and feet. Diabetic socks for men and women are loose-fitting, while regular socks fall in between.

What is the difference between diabetic stockings and compression stockings?

Diabetic socks put less pressure on your feet and legs. Socks are also gentler on your skin. They feature less abrasive materials that reduce blisters. These include wool, combed cotton, nylon, spandex and wool. Lightweight diabetic socks allow air to circulate to keep feet cool. Additionally, the toe area will have flat seams and extra cushioning on the heel. Flat seams prevent irritation in the toe area. More cushioning provides more comfort and support. Diabetic socks come in a variety of lengths including faceless, low cut, ankle, crew and knee lengths.

On the other hand, people wear compression stockings to relieve leg pain from standing or sitting for too long. These knee-high stockings use strong elastic material to squeeze the legs. Compression forces blood back to your heart. Therefore, compression stockings can stop blood clots and swelling in the legs. Additionally, these socks help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Also, distance runners sometimes wear them to prevent leg fatigue.

What is the difference between regular socks and diabetic socks?

Non-diabetic people and people without foot problems wear regular socks. Generally speaking, people with diabetes should not wear regular socks. The seams of regular socks can irritate the toes. Meanwhile, diabetic socks are usually seamless or have flat seams. Additionally, traditional socks are highly elastic and restrict blood flow to the lower extremities. This can lead to foot problems. Also, ordinary socks are mainly made of cotton. 100% cotton socks can create too much moisture. Wet feet are a breeding ground for infection.

Why Do Diabetics Need Diabetic Socks?

People with diabetes are more prone to foot infections. Nerve damage and impaired healing are responsible for this problem. For people with diabetes who have neuropathy, complications can be worse if they don't wear the right shoes. Diabetic socks protect your feet from complications and improve circulation in your legs.

Diabetic Compression Stockings: A Guide to Helping You Choose the Best Pair

What are the characteristics of diabetic socks?

Diabetic socks have unique features that make them ideal for diabetics or anyone looking for more comfort. You can even wear dress socks to treat diabetes. For an in-depth guide to these socks, read here.

Seamless toes: People with diabetic neuropathy need socks without seams. Otherwise, the seams can rub and irritate the skin. Abrasion can lead to blisters, ulcers, and infection.

Loose-fitting tops: Sock tops should be loose and uninhibited. Socks that are too tight can restrict blood circulation. Poor circulation can lead to nerve damage.

Cushioning: Socks should have more cushioning support in the sole to prevent injury. Also, the cushioning should be from toe to heel.

Light-colored: People with diabetes should buy light-colored socks to make it easier to spot wounds.

Minimize moisture: Keeping diabetic feet dry can prevent foot infections. This is why most diabetic socks use a variety of fibers. These include nylon, cotton and polyester. For diabetics, together they wick more water than cotton alone.

Antibacterial: This feature helps minimize the bacteria that cause infections in people with diabetes.

What you need to know about wearing compression stockings for diabetics

What are the benefits of wearing diabetic socks?

Minimize Cold Feet - People with diabetes or prediabetes often experience cold feet due to poor blood flow to the legs. Better material retains heat to keep feet warm. Another option is silver diabetic socks. These absorb heat and transfer it back to your legs.

Increases Foot Circulation - A loose top that is not bound increases leg circulation. Increased circulation also helps to recover from injury faster. These socks do not leave indentations on the top like other socks. At the same time, the diabetic socks will not slip off the ankle.

Protect The Feet- These socks use a soft, smooth material to minimize chafing. Flat seams around the toes prevent irritation. Additional bottom cushioning helps prevent foot pain.

Prevent Foot Infections - The warm, moist environment of the feet is a breeding ground for bacteria. Wet and open wounds are the cause of foot infections. Diabetic socks keep your feet dry. Fibers like cotton and wool work with nylon to absorb sweat and wick it away. This is a drying mechanism that regular socks do not have.

Stress Relief - Non-binding tops play an important role in reducing pain from nerve damage. Blisters and ulcers are more likely to appear in areas of high pressure. Therefore, people with nerve damage find relief by wearing diabetic socks. That's because it has padding to cushion the foot and relieve pressure. This is especially true for women with gestational diabetes and those with swollen legs due to peripheral edema.

Compression stockings and diabetic stockings are medical stockings for different purposes. Compression stockings can pool blood to your heart. Diabetic socks, on the other hand, are diabetics. They are non-binding and help improve circulation in the legs. In addition to improving blood circulation, these socks provide more comfort and prevent foot infections. People with diabetes should always wear these socks to maintain proper foot care.