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Sock Line Hyperpigmentation....what's that?

Written by KATIE SAUNDERS

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Posted on June 18 2020

If you are, as I was, unfamiliar with this phrase then it is the lines that some socks leave on baby’s legs when they are too tight and dig in. 

No one likes to put socks on their little one that leave marks but did you know these marks could actually be permanent? 

‘Sock line bands’ as they are also known are raised red or dark marks around the leg or ankle caused by wearing the wrong pair of socks - a study back in 2007 on a number of infants showed that they can lead to permanent scarring!


So how can you tell if it’s sock line hyperpigmentation? 

Well the condition is often found in babies and infants whose socks restrict the blood circulation in their little chubby legs. The marks from the socks are usually red and look a little like burns. 

According to the British Journal of Dermatology, the hyperpigmentation (which is when the skin becomes darker than the surrounding skin) is completely harmless and may fade over time, but it usually causes Permanent scarring. 


So how does it happen? 

The tightness of the socks causes reduced blood circulation and inflammation in the dermis (the lower layer of the skin) and in the subcutaneous fat causing the marks. 

(Sock-line hyperpigmentation is different from amniotic band syndrome, which develops in the womb and can cause similar symptoms in newborn babies.) 

If your little one’s skin shows chafing or other signs of irritation from socks then you should stop putting them on immediately.

You know what they say - prevention is better than a cure

Preventing sock-line hyperpigmentation is as simple as making sure your and your little ones socks aren’t too tight.

 Try choosing socks made out of soft, natural threads that do not have restricting elastic or rubber bands. 

When trying new socks on your little one always place a finger between your baby’s skin and the band of the sock to make sure they aren’t too tight.

All of our Stay On socks are designed NOT to dig in. Our gentle roll top and graduated elasticated panels mean that they are gentle on you little ones legs and ankles so sock line hyperpigmentation doesn’t form.

I hope this helps you understand this condition a little more. I have to admit before delving deeper I wasn't aware how serious this sock line problem from tight baby socks could be. If you would like to learn more about the studies that were done then if you search Sock Line Hyperpigmentation then are high up on the search results.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog, have a great day.

Katie x

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