You need diabetic socks because foot pain and sensitivity are the beginning of serious problems. But finding good ones might be confusing.
Some people think diabetic socks are the same thing as compression stockings. I can tell you from experience that they are not.
Both are found in specialty catalogs and on the same web sites. But compression stockings are made for edema and swelling.
They are for people who need stockings that will aid them in moving lymph upward from swollen legs. I tried to wear those socks, so I can tell you it is a mistake to buy them.
They will cut off the circulation to your feet and lower legs. That is a serious mistake. So read the small print when buying special socks. If they bind in any way the label will warn you they are "not for diabetics."
Diabetic socks will not bind around your legs and ankles or leave marks when you take them off at the end of the day.
They have been woven with extra stretch to keep swollen feet comfortable and will never slow circulation. There are extra wide and extra deep cut socks for diabetics whose feet swell a lot.
When you look at the toes of regular socks you find a seam. Socks for diabetic feet will not have any seam at the toe line.
You'll also notice that those socks have extra padding in the lining of the foot. Turn them inside out and you'll feel the extra thickness.
The socks will be made of cotton or some other special blend. You want that, because with problems like foot ulcers and dry feet, you need socks that will absorb moisture and allow you to put lotions and medications on your skin.
Some of the socks have antimicrobial agents added. These will slow the growth of bacteria and control foot odor too. Dry, comfortable feet will stay happy in your diabetic shoes longer.
If it is tempting to think that any old socks or hose will do, remember that rubbing of feet against shoes leads to blisters. Those don't heal for diabetics the way they did when you were younger.
Since going barefoot is a bad idea even in the summer, comfortable socks that let your feet breathe are a must.
Lots of colors and styles are available. You don't have to look like a grandma or grandpa to be comfortable.
Catalogs like FootSmart and diabetes web sites will sell you name brand socks for foot problems that look really nice.
But if cost is an issue, stores like Walmart carry diabetic socks too. As you would expect, the styles are limited but the price is right.
There is also Amazon.com. After you find the socks you like you will find them at a lower price there.
As a veteran of fallen arches, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and over sensitive toes, I've tried a lot of foot care products.
Special inserts, expensive shoes and foot care catalogs are all a part of my education by trial and error.
Of all the diabetic symptoms, the one I hate the most is foot pain, because it keeps you awake at night and plagues every step you take during the day. What has helped the most?
Controlling blood sugar, doing foot stretching exercises, using capsaicin cream, and finding good shoes with inserts.
Then I wear my comfy diabetic socks from the minute my feet hit the floor until I go to bed at night.
I've found that if you can't avoid diabetic nerve pain and paresthesias, at least you can keep your feet comfortable while you fight the battle against them.
Keep your feet happy with good diabetic socks, and your heart will be happier too.
"A happy heart is good medicine, and a cheerful mind works healing..."
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