Being diagnosed with diabetes will have you changing your lifestyle, but did you know that having diabetes will have you changing your socks as well?
Diabetic stockings are one of the more obscure prescriptions you’ll ever get from your family physician, but thankfully, one of the easiest pills to swallow.
Diabetes raises blood sugar and can ultimately cause foot ulcers. Foot ulcers can develop in the young and old at any time. Prevention is key and diabetic stockings can go a long way in maintaining good foot health.
Diabetic stockings or socks are made of any breathable material. They are generally non-elasticized and made of materials that won’t wrinkle. They will most likely be seamless and should fit well without being too restrictive. These socks come in several styles, including short, athletic and regular length. Though diabetic stockings come in any colour, white is common. Because of the sensitive nature of a diabetic foot, diabetic stockings and socks may also control moisture, reducing the risks of infections. This is why diabetic socks aren’t made of wool or cotton. While these absorb moisture, they keep it against the skin, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Also, without the elastic that most cotton and wool socks have in common, they can bunch and wrinkle, causing pressure points that will compromise the delicate skin of a diabetic foot. As foot sores and lesions are common among diabetic sufferers, white socks go a long way in diagnosing foot problems early as sensation in the foot can be decreased.
You might worry that your diabetic stockings are too snug and may cause restricted blood flow, but the opposite has been found to be true. Uniform compression can actually promote good circulation.
A good diabetic sock or stocking will also be free of latex as well as dyes.
Caring for your diabetic socks
When caring for your socks, machine wash and dry as you would with all other washable clothing. Avoid the use of bleach and it is wise to replace your stockings and socks every six months. After some time, their protective qualities wear and will become less effective.
Where to get one
Diabetic stockings can be purchased from your podiatrist, online, or simply by visiting your local pharmacy. The price point varies as does the quality, so you’ll want to shop around to compare. If you visit a pharmacy with a wide selection and you’re unsure of which one to get, no need to worry, a pharmacist will be able to assist you.
Serious foot infections are a common side effect of uncontrolled diabetes and in the worst cases, amputation is needed. Keeping insulin levels stable and within range is essential in managing your diabetes. It’s also important to take advantage of other, less invasive tools that will keep the disease in check and your health intact. Something as simple as a sock can keep you on your feet.