If you are a diabetic, proper care of your feet and legs is very important. Diabetic patients often suffer from neurological and circulation problems that can manifest themselves with an increased risk for injuries and infections. It is therefore mandatory for diabetics to take very good care of their feet and inspect them daily for any changes. Part of this foot care regimen includes proper foot garments.
Depending on the individual situation, compression stockings may be utilized as a preventative measure or as a treatment for edema (swelling), as well as venous or arterial ulcerations (sores) in the lower portion of the legs.
Diabetics can Benefit from Special Socks with Mild Compression
Specially designed socks help promote the health of diabetic feet and legs. Socks for individuals with diabetes feature mild graduated compression to improve the blood circulation in the legs. Diabetic socks are knitted with a seamless construction. Soft padded soles prevent blisters and provide additional protection for the feet.
These special socks are knitted in a contoured way for a close fit with no bunching or binding. Last but not least, diabetic socks feature highly durable anti-microbial and moisture wicking fibers to help prevent skin irritations or abrasions. Diabetic compression socks generally provide a moderate compression level of 10-15 mmHg. Compression stockings of higher compression levels than 20 mmHg should be prescribed under the guidance of a physician or vein specialist. It is always prudent to discuss your concerns with your medical care provider first before making any changes that could affect your health and wellbeing.
Diabetic Compression Stockings – How can they Help?
Diabetic compression stockings are specially designed and manufactured from very soft fabrics that will not irritate the skin. They are ideally suited to help with damaged nerves in the feet (diabetic neuropathy) and to provide optimal compression for the foot area to control swelling (edema). Compression hosiery for diabetics is usually latex free and manufactured from very high quality Lycra fibers with extreme wear resistance.
Compression stockings can be helpful for diabetic patients to preferably prevent or at least reduce swelling (edema). Swelling interferes with the healing process of wounds and it can cause considerable discomfort for diabetic individuals. While support pantyhose may be adequate for minor cases of swelling, patients with more extensive edema or even leg ulcers may need to be fitted with doctor prescribed compression stockings.
Patients suffering from peripheral artery disease (PAD) and/or peripheral vascular disease (PVD) require a detailed evaluation and monitoring by their physician and a vascular specialist if compression stockings are part of the prescribed course of treatment. A clinician must determine whether or not compression stockings are applicable for a diabetic person suffering from PAD or PVD by having the patient undergo precise testing that determines the outflow pressure into the extremity.
Correct diagnosis, precise measurements and fitting of the compression hosiery are of utmost importance. If compression stockings are prescribed, the measurements and fit must be checked regularly. This is particularly important if the patient loses or gains weight. Such weight fluctuations will require adjustments in the sizing of the compression garments to ensure optimal blood circulation.
Finally, it should be pointed out that a major part in the success or failure of applying compression stockings is patient compliance. For best results compression stockings must be worn daily from the time the individual gets out of bed. They should be taken off at night before the patient lies down to go to sleep.