Do men lose hair on lower legs as they age due to use of socks or natural aging?

Just curious. If you don’t use socks do you maintain hair on your lower legs even if you are older (50+) ?

In my case, it’s related to being diabetic. In fact, when I was diagnosed, my doctor could estimate how long I’d been diabetic by the amount of hair loss.

I’m over 50 and the only hair loss I have suffered below the knees is do to wearing socks. And it’s a fairly defined line too, from about 3 inches above my ankles and down.

Who can remember when they were 50? :smiley:

The effect of socks makes hair loss more prominent and more extensive, but a lot of it is also due to poor blood supply. One of the hallmarks of inadequate blood flow to the lower extremities is hair loss on the feet and toes, as well as on the lower legs. Many people with diabetes, a notorious cause of impaired blood circulation, will have lower leg hair loss at an earlier age than non-diabetic individuals. Quite possibly, panache45, this phenomenon is playing a role in your legs too.

I think it is circulation, and even in non-diabetic individuals. I see it in women, also. It sometimes corresponds to dry skin, which makes sense because hair, oil, and sweat glands are fed from underneath. Even people whose circulation is supposed to be “okay” show some signs of this, I think this is because these structures are very sensitive to micro-circulation. I have noticed many people who get knee replacements or ankle surgery get a profusion of hair re-growth near the surgery when the healing and therapy stage begins. I feel this supports this hypothesis. Sock-induced baldness is very real, but sock-shaped. Circulation changes appear to progress more on the anterior inner shin faster then on areas with more muscle. (My info is just from looking at lots and lots of knees and feet at work)

my SO has a sock line hair loss thing - it was something i noticed right away. Especially because he’s a snuggly teddy bear everywhere else! :wink:

I used to be too. But the diabetes has thinned or removed my hair everywhere . . . except of course in my nose and ears.

Isn’t growing old fun! A lot of the hair that used to come out of my legs has been redirected to my ears and eyebrows apparently. Some sort of mix up in the hair distribution center of my brain I guess. I do have distinctly less hair in the sock area though, and some spots where my pants have caused this too. I used to wonder if it was the socks but it is pretty obviously so now.

Anyplace that gets regular friction on it can have hair loss.

My right butt cheek is bare, my left hairy. I keep my wallet on my right side.

Otherwise, I’ll go with what the rest of the posters have said.

someone hand me brain bleach please.
But to follow the friction theme, that doesn’t explain certain hair i’ve found on men . . .

It has nothing to do with it. I noticed it on older guys many years ago, and had my husband switch to ankle socks when he was in his early 30’s. He’s worn only ankle socks for 20 years now, but, sure enough, all the hair on his lower legs has gone away. It just coincidentally happens to occur at the level at which regular socks would be. It’s also common for women’s leg hair to get sparser there, too, as well as everywhere else. You lose hair from where you do want it and gain it where you don’t. Just because you wear calf socks or have diabetes it doesn’t mean those are the causes, any more than hair loss on your head being cause by wearing baseball caps.

My wife (who is a nurse) tells me that it is a symptom of congestive heart failure, among other things.

It’s also a symptom of being over 50. If you look next time you’re at a place such as a pool or health club, you will see almost without fail every man beyond a certain age will have lost their lower leg hair. Maybe it can be brought on sooner due to lower circulation, but it will happen to nearly every male. I’ve read where it’s due to the changes in hormonal levels of testosterone and progesterone due to ageing - circulation may well play a part in that, too. It is a natural balding pattern, like on the scalp. The fact that it is mid-calf is coincidental to wearing socks; eventually it will thin up to the knees or higher. Again, many women don’t need to shave their lower legs after a certain age, either.

Well that’s just great.

Ive actually been wondering about this for awhile now. I’ve noticed that in the last 5 years or so the hair on my calves has all but disappered, mainly on the lower “outside”. Is this actually something that I should take more seriously than I am?

I’m a 29 year old male in (seemingly) good health.

I can guarantee you that heart failure will cause other symptoms besides hair loss on the legs.

I neglected to say in my earlier post that smoking, of course, impairs the circulation, especially to the legs and feet. So, if you smoke, stop! Yesterday!


good lord, you just said that so cavalierly.

it could be a sign of nothing…could be a sign that you’ve already died.

i second the “don’t think it’s socks” thing. i have a friend (41yo) who is really concerned and thoroughly bummed out about his calve-down leghair loss.
he has been wearing ankle socks for years and years.

meanwhile i started losing my head hair when i was sixteen. i took it in stride like michael jordan (our heads share a common sillouette).

Then why are my palms so hairy?