A great number of people nowadays wear compression socks for various reasons, such as comfort, better sports performance, and prevention of some serious medical conditions. It is said to keep your feet from feeling tired and achy, as well as ease swollen feet among other things. As a diabetic, or someone related to a diabetic, you might be considering getting a copper compression socks or may have prescribed by your doctor. But, does copper compression socks for diabetics really work?

Diabetics with neuropathy (nerve damage) issues need to take extra care of their lower legs and feet. In other to avert complications that could arise from poor circulation in the feet as well as eliminate fungi, bacteria, virus and feet odor, diabetics might be prescribed copper compression socks.

You may or may not have heard about compression socks (e.g. Nano Socks) or the anti-microbial and anti-odor effects associated with copper compression socks.

I will shortly guide you into details on the numerous health benefits of copper-infused compression socks, and how they can help a diabetic with research behind them to confirm if they really work or not. More accurately, when Copper Compression Socks work and what are the best ones out there.

Let’s start rolling by defining what we meant by compression socks.

What is a Compression Sock?

The idea behind compression socks is to gently apply pressure to your legs and ankles. Compression therapy prevents blood pooling in the lower extremities and promotes blood circulation from the legs to the heart.

Compression socks come with health benefits such as:

  • Reduction and prevention of leg swelling
  • Improves blood circulation to and from your legs
  • Prevention of venous ulcers
  • Reversing venous hypertension
  • Vein support
  • Helps to prevent blood from pooling in your leg veins
  • Improves lymphatic drainage
  • Helps in reducing pain caused by varicose veins
  • Helps in reducing lightheadedness while standing, caused by orthostatic hypotension

How is Compression Socks Different from Regular Socks?compression socks vs regular socks

Compression socks might look like regular socks, but they are not quite the same. Here’s why

  • Medical benefits

The first and the most important reason to choose compression socks over regular socks, is because of their medical advantages. A compression sock could relieve achy, tired and swollen feet, as well as tackle blood circulation issues.

  • Fitting

Unlike a pair of regular socks that might be too loose or too tight and uncomfortable to wear, compression socks have proper fittings for any person. It clings to your skin without being too tight and uncomfortable.

Types of Compression Socks

There are 3 main types of compression socks:

1. Non-medical Support Hosiery

This type of compression socks doesn’t really require a prescription. It delivers uniform compression with less pressure compared to prescription compression stockings, such as the Graduated Compression Stockings.

Flight socks and Elastic support hose, for example, are non-medical compression stockings sold as a potential relief solution for aching and tired legs. You can easily find Non-medical support hosiery at online stores or pharmacies.

2. Graduated Compression Stockings

The level of compression in Graduated compression stockings, is strongest at the ankle and slowly reduces towards the top.

It requires a professional fitting, and basically designed for mobility with specific medically prescribed length and strength.

Stockings extending to the waist or thigh, help to prevent orthostatic hypotension and also decrease the pooling of blood in the legs. Socks end just below the knee, and helps to limit lower leg swelling or peripheral edema caused by fluid buildup.

3. Anti-embolism Stockings

Anti-embolism socks provide gradient compression, like the Graduated stockings. However, in this case the level of compression is different. They are designed for people who are immobile, and help prevent deep vein blood clot (thrombosis).

What is Copper Compression Socks?

Copper Compression Socks is your regular compression socks infused with copper ions through modern technology. This gives it both the advantages of a compression sock and that of copper ions.

By embedding copper ions into the yarn of a sock on a molecular level, a regular clothing material is transformed into a natural, chemical-free, long-lasting germ fighter. It defends your skin against a host of bacterial infections and diseases.

The feet are especially exposed to contaminated and dirty surfaces and at risk of contracting one or more infections lying around. Copper compression socks are a must-have in keeping your feet safe, and even more so for diabetics.

Copper compression socks

Benefits of Copper Compression Socks

Copper-Infused compression socks provide the comfort and luxury of your regular socks, with the support and sturdiness of compression socks, and anti-microbial properties of copper ions. It is definitely your best alternative.

Here are the 9 benefits of Copper Compression Socks:

  • Treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Poor Blood Circulation

Copper compression socks help in generation of new blood vessels and treatment of DVT, varicose veins, oedema, venous eczema, lipodermatosclerosis and any other issues caused by poor blood circulation.

  • Eliminates pathogens (anti-microbial)

It has been scientifically proven that copper ions penetrate the cell walls of fungi, viruses and bacteria. The copper ions then attack the DNA of the microbe once it penetrates, rendering the microorganism completely inactive. Copper ion eliminates and destroys superbugs and potentially harmful pathogenic microbes upon contact.

Anti-bacterial:

Staphylococcus Aureus is a very common bacterial infection that causes the skin to become red, painful and swollen and might even lead to pus discharge.

Anti-fungal:

Athlete’s Foot, Yeast infections and Ringworms are common fungal infections caused by microscopic fungi that live on toenails and outer skin layers. They can cause blisters, itching, burning, cracking and peeing off the feet. It is commonly spread through contact with infected skin or infected skin particles left on shoes, towels, surfaces and moist surfaces like swimming pools and locker rooms.

Anti-viral:

Human Papillomavirus and norovirus are highly contagious viruses spread through contact with surfaces that have been contaminated. Planter Warts
are
caused by the HPV, and thrives in warm moist environments like swimming pools, public baths, shared socks or footwear and fitness clubs.

  • Anti-Inflammatory

Copper reduces Inflammation and helps in the treatment of arthritis, joint pain, and Raynaud’s disease.

  • Anti-Odor

Bad foot odors can be embarrassing, and is often associated with heat and sweat which creates the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.

Copper compression socks help reduce foot odors by eliminating germs that cause odors and keeping the feet dry.

  • Healthier Skin

Copper plays an important role in skincare and cosmetics and personal care. As shown by various studies, copper stimulates the production of elastin, collagen and other essential enzymes for plump, stronger and healthier skin.

  • Improved thermal regulation

Copper ions help reduce heat loss, thereby relieving numbness, cold and foot ache in cooler temperatures.

  • Durable

Copper ions are bound to the fibers of the material on a molecular level. They will last the lifespan of the socks and are machine washable, except otherwise indicated.

  • Better Performance

The light graduated compression in the copper compression socks help to improve circulation, reduce lactic acid build-up, prevent DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and improve recovery.

  • Completely Natural

All the health benefits of copper compression socks come from an all-natural, chemical-free and environmentally friendly material.

Who Can Wear Copper Compression Socks?

  • Individuals with or at risk for circulation issues such as Diabetes, varicose veins or DVT
  • Athletes
  • People recovering just after surgery
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have to stand or sit all day at work like nurses and doctors
  • People who spend long hours on airplanes, like pilots and frequent travelers
  • Individuals who experience difficulty moving their legs or who can’t leave their beds

Silver vs Cotton vs Copper Compression Socks – The Difference in the Effect

 

Silver Compression Socks

Cotton Compression Socks

Copper Compression Socks

Anti-Bacterial Effect

Only with humidity

None

Yes

Anti-Odor Effect

Only with humidity

None

Yes

Anti-Viral Effect

Only with humidity

None

Yes

Anti-Fungal Effect

Only with humidity

None

Yes

Improved Blood Flow

None

None

Yes

Softer and Healthier Skin Effect

None

None

Yes

Silver vs Cotton vs Copper Compression Socks

Does Copper Compression Socks Work? What Research Say?

Copper is an antimicrobial material recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This claim is based on the concept of “contact killing”, meaning that viruses, bacteria and yeast are eliminated on solid metallic copper surfaces.

Consequently, copper may eliminate odors from sweaty feet as an advantage. Currently, there are no studies that show copper to be effective against stiffness, pain and physical function. And so, any claims of copper having pain relieving benefits, is solely based on placebo effects (according to science).

Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence yet, to prove that individuals who use copper-infused socks would benefit more in speeding up recovery and preventing fatigue, compared to non-copper alternatives. Save for its potential benefit of eliminating odor and germs.

That being said, there is no harm in wearing copper-infused socks, as long as you don’t have any other problems. If you notice any problems such as skin changes, circulation issues or any other concerns, you should contact your doctor.

Are Copper Compression Socks Good for Diabetics?

Diabetic patients are often prone to a wide range of lower leg and feet issues. Proper foot care is, therefore an essential and important factor for diabetics. There is the risk of developing neuropathy (nerve damage) and losing their sense of pain, causing them to neglect foot ulcers, wounds and other problems.

When foot ulcers are not treated on time, it can lead to amputation. Thus, it is important that diabetics visit their podiatrist regularly and inspect their feet daily for wounds or sores.

Your healthcare professional may also suggest using specialized footwear, such as Copper-Infused compression socks that improves blood circulation and reduces swelling, among other things.

How Do Copper-Infused Compression socks help Diabetics?

Diabetes patients generally struggle with edema (swollen foot or ankle) and circulatory issues. When diabetics wear compression socks, the graduated pressure improves blood circulation in the lower legs and feet, and prevents/reduce edema. It gently stretches the walls of the leg veins to assist the valves, so they can work properly. Damaged or weak valves give room for blood to flow backward and begin to pool in the extremities, due to gravity.

But with copper compression socks, there are even more advantages:

  • Reduced Risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)

Copper is an essential nutrient for the human body known to promote the development of red blood cells, connective tissue and skin. If zinc is also present in the socks, it may also aid blood sugar regulation.

Copper-infused compression socks enhance skin health and blood circulation, which in turn reduces the risk of DVT and blood clotting.

  • Improved Skin Elasticity

Copper generally helps with the production collagen, elastin and other enzymes that aid in flexibility, strong and plump skin. Fabric infused with copper ions can help prevent the skin from getting brittle or dry, which may result in skin tear or rupture even with usual movements.

  • Anti-Microbial Effect

Copper is among the most effective natural ways to defend against germs that cause infections. It kills fungi, viruses and bacteria within a few hours of contact, preventing odors and keeping your feet safe.

  • Better Thermal Regulation

Because diabetics suffer poor blood circulation in their extremities, they often complain of cold feet and hands. Copper-Infused compression socks provide adequate insulation to keep the lower legs and feet warm, and improve blood flow to the extremities.

  • Generation of New Skin cells

Copper-Infused compression socks fight inflammation and optimizes the healing of the skin. Fibroblast is the part of your skin responsible for producing new skin cells, and copper is relevant in the stimulation of fibroblasts.

How Long Can You Wear Copper Compression Socks?

Once you wear copper compression socks, it should feel snug and lay smoothly against your skin without any pains. Since copper ions can only work when it is in direct contact with your skin, then the longer it is worn, the more the effect.

If your doctor has prescribed copper compression socks for a condition (such as diabetes or thrombosis), that affects your circulation, then you may be required to wear them for a number of years, or probably the rest of your life.

Copper compression socks can be worn throughout the day, and taken off at night right before bedtime. Then put on again first thing at dawn. People with certain medical conditions, or the ones who sit all day, who are pregnant, or very active, might need to wear copper compression socks all day.

When Wearing Compression Socks Harmful?

Wearing compression socks daily might cause irritation or redness, and skin changes for certain individuals. If your Physician has prescribed compression socks for you, it is important to check your legs daily for skin changes. They might mean:

  • You have an infection
  • You’re stockings don’t fit properly
  • You have an allergic reaction to stocking material
  • You’re not taking off or putting on your stockings properly

Improper prescription and use of compression socks could result in some problems too.

  • According to Healthline, wearing compression socks improperly could cause the skin to break.
  • Misuse of compression socks may assist in peripheral nerve damage.
  • The Canadian Medical Association Journal also mentions that using compression socks can worsen inadequate oxygenated flow, if you have impaired arterial flow.

Tips for Diabetics When Choosing Compression Socks

  • Ensure the socks is a moisture-wicking breathable material. This will help in keeping your feet dry.
  • Diabetics with neuropathy issues may not notice when their feet is getting bruised. Except your doctor has prescribed a particular copper compression socks for you, a sock with a seamless toe and not too binding top band would be the best option. This is to avoid the seam from rubbing on your toes and making them sore.
  • For diabetics, light compression (between 8-12 mmHg, 12-15 mmHg, and 15-20 mmHg) is necessary to improve blood circulation. But too much squeeze might be too tight and completely cut off circulation.

You can seek your doctor’s recommendation on how much compression you will need.

5 Best Copper-Infused Compression Socks for Diabetics

 

1. Iseasoo Copper Low-Cut Compression Socks Review

It features a wide range of color combinations, moisture-wicking material and comfortable fit. Copper-infused with compression of 15-20 mmHg.

Iseasoo Copper Low-Cut Compression Socks
What we found appealing

Iseasoo’s low-cut copper compression socks are designed with a compression of 15-20 mmHg, that helps reduce foot swelling, aches and arthritis, as well as improve blood circulation.

Its fabric is made of copper-infused moisture-wicking materials that get rid of moist and odor.

It is lightweight, comfortable and easier to wear and put off compared to some compression socks.

What we didn’t like

The socks aren’t durable for long-term use.

2. Copper Fit Crew Socks Review

Copper Fit Crew Socks

Made with comfortable and breathable mesh venting material. Its fabric is embedded with copper ions, and designed with dynamic arch compression for added support.

What we found appealing

Copper Fit Crew Socks is a soft and comfortable blend of polyester and spandex infused with copper ions. It’s a comfortable fit, durable and eliminates odor and moist at the same time.

It provides additional support for the feet through a dynamic arch compression, so you can say goodbye to foot swelling, odors and aches.

Also available in 3 subtle colors.

What we didn’t like

The larger sizes are surprisingly small.

3. CopperJoint Long Compression Socks Review

CopperJoint Long Compression Socks

This is a comfortable copper-infused fabric reduces odor and improves circulation with graduated compression.

What we found appealing

CopperJoint compression socks is a knee-high length socks infused with anti-odor, anti-germ copper ions. It is designed with moderate compression of 15-20 mmHg that provides support for joint and muscle recovery, relief from pains and arthritis, and improves blood circulation.

The materials are anti-itch, latex-free and keep your feet dry by wicking away moisture.

Instead of uncomfortable seams that run along the top of the toes, it has just two little seams on each side of the toe area.

What we didn’t like

The top band is a little too tight for some people with a large calf and might cut off circulation completely.

4. Sooverki Copper Plantar Fasciitis Running Compression Socks Review

Sooverki Copper Plantar Fasciitis Running Compression Socks

A high performance breathable, anti-itch wicking material is used to design Sooverki’s low-cut copper compression socks. It provides light compression and arch support with a soft and comfortable fit.

What we found appealing

Sooverki copper compression socks take care of blood clots and help improve blood circulation through its light compression that delivers 8-15 mmHg of compression.

It is designed with copper ions infused into the moisture-wicking breathable material, which deliver anti-odor and anti-bacterial capabilities.

There is Cuff and Soothing feeling right at the bottom and sides of foot, with ankle support.

Ankle and Arch compression relieves fatigue and helps with blister control.

Available in white and muted tones.

What we didn’t like

It is really soft and comfortable, but might not have enough compression.

5. FootPlus Unisex Copper Socks Review

FootPlus Unisex Copper Socks

If you’re ever in need of those Goldilocks socks that are neither too thick nor thin, then you should try FootPlus’ copper socks. It is a dynamic copper-infused socks, designed mainly for casual everyday use.

What we found appealing

Socks should be made durable enough to endure every daily task, from strolling around the house to running down the street. The classic yet simple design of FootPlus’ unisex compression socks, with its muted tones, is the perfect choice for day-to-day footwear, regardless of the activity.

It is designed with copper-infused elastane and polyester fabric that reduces common foot odors.

There’s extra comfort provided by a seamless toe that prevents blistering or chafing on the toes. Then a cushioned sole, spandex arch and an ankle compression for extra protection.

What we didn’t like

Its materials don’t really wick moisture from your feet. And, the anti-odor capability is quite weak.

Conclusion

Diabetes is already enough concern on its own, but it also makes you prone to slow-healing wounds, foot sores and infections, which if left untreated can lead to amputation or worse, death. Every year in the UK, there are more than 7,000 diabetes-related amputations performed, but more than 80% of these cases can be avoided with timely treatment and proper foot care. Taking foot care lightly could be dangerous knowing the impact of diabetic neuropathy.

Copper compression socks can significantly contribute to;

  • Relieving symptoms of diabetic-foot related issues
  • Defending your feet against infections
  • Promoting angiogenesis and
  • Improve blood circulation.

Finally, communicating regularly with your doctor about changes in your condition as well as your opinions, is crucial to making more efficient decisions about your health.

Copper compression socks are not a cure-it-all solution, so if you notice any skin changes or effects while using them, please contact your doctor.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.