The skin around the blood sugar test sites, insulin shot sites, and pump infusion set sites requires special attention for those with diabetes. Since November is National Diabetes Awareness month, it is the perfect time for dermatologists to provide care ideas for those more sensitive skin areas.
Changes that might occur around those sensitive sites include bruises, red marks, itching, skin thickening, scarring, and general tenderness. While these are a normal part of having diabetes, there are some things that you can do to help.
The small red bumps that can develop at the pump infusion set site after the set has been removed might be less likely to happen if you cover the infusion site with an intravenous prep first. You could ask your dermatologist or endocrinologist about this. Also try using a sterile technique when changing your site and try to change your site every 48 to 72 hours.
Fatty tissue can also develop around the pump set site change location as well as around the site of insulin injections. Rotating injection site locations can help with this problem.
Finger sticks for blood sugar checks are a very common and routine part of life with diabetes. Those finger sticks can cause callouses and sometimes infections. Try to always use a sterile approach to checking blood sugars. Use an antibacterial cleansing pad to clean the area and change the needle on the finger pricker instrument with each test. Also rotate testing sites.
Using an antibiotic ointment on any of these sites, after use, may also help with irritations.
Always clean these areas well when bathing and use a moisturizer on them. If you develop anything on those areas that seems new or like it might be infected, please contact your dermatologist.
Some scarring around infusion set sites may happen no matter how carefully you care for the areas. Scarring should not interfere with insulin delivery.