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Results from a pilot study show protective socks designed by the East Devon based former Chairman of Thorntons, are effective in preventing a potentially debilitating skin condition.
The study has been carried out by researchers at The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, funded by a £250,000 grant from The National Institute for Health research under its Patient for Benefit Scheme.
The woven socks are reinforced with knock-resistant loops, similar to the material used in stab-proof vests.
They were designed by Peter Thornton after he suffered from skin tears on his arms and legs. He founded Dermatuff with Plymouth-based entrepreneur, Nick Pitts.
Tears occur as a result of thinning skin, a common problem in the over 65’s, people suffering from Diabetes and other long-term chronic health conditions. If left untreated, tears can cause ulcers, which are painful, difficult to treat and can lead to a loss of mobility.
The results have been welcomed by the Department of Health. The Minister for Life Sciences, George Eustace MP, says: “This exciting trial could prevent thousands of older patients from needing to undergo treatment for painful skin tears and could help save time for hard-working community nurses all over the United Kingdom.”
A wider survey is now planned using volunteers from Exeter and Bristol.