Copper has two key properties that make it an attractive component to introduce into textiles and socks in particular – it has potent biocidal properties and is an essential trace element vital for the normal function of skin.
The capacity of copper oxide impregnated socks to kill fungi that causes tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) and to enhance skin elasticity has already been demonstrated. In the current study, we assessed the beneficial effect on the skin of the foot in the wider population by supplying socks impregnated with microscopic copper oxide particles to 5,000 individuals that were identified via an internet survey as people who had experienced athlete’s foot within the past 6 months or were concerned about the appearance of their feet. Each individual received 3 complementary pairs of socks and was asked to use them as they would normally use their own socks. After 90 days 3,603 paricipants answered an online questionnaire. The vast majority (82%) of responders that felt uncomfortable showing their bare feet in public before using the socks reported a meaningful improvement to their foot skin following the use of the socks for at least 5 hours a day. 61% of respondents reported elimination or reduction of their foot odor, and 60% reported stopping using a foot care regime or therapy due to using the supplied socks. 51% indicated that the socks improved the appearance of their feet and 58% indicated they were now more comfortable showing their feet in public.
In view of the above, it can be concluded that the simple use of copper oxide impregnated socks for at least 5 hours a day helps improve the foot skin well-being and overall appearance of the skin.
Authors: Gadi Borkow PhD, Vikram Kanmukhla, Alastair B Monk