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Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

Injections: Is This Bump Under the Skin Normal?

I have type 2 diabetes and have just started on insulin injections. My first injection was in my outer thigh. After I injected, there was a nickel-sized raised area under my skin. It wasn’t red and didn’t cause any pain. I injected at night, and when I got up in the morning, the raised area was gone. Is this normal? Name Withheld

Roger P. Austin, MS, RPH, CDE, responds:

What to Know:

The raised area under the skin indicates that you may have injected the insulin just under the skin instead of into fat tissue. You’ll want to review your injection technique in person with your health care professional. Proper technique helps the insulin dose be absorbed as intended. That ensures the insulin is as effective as possible in lowering your blood glucose level.

Possible Solutions:

Learning how and where to inject insulin is best demonstrated by a nurse or other skilled health professional in the office so you can see and repeat the techniques demonstrated, and ask questions. With a few practice shots, most people become injection experts. If you take a large dose, ask your health care provider about splitting it into two injections to improve the absorption rate.

Takeaways:

Pinching up the skin before injecting is important to make sure that your injection is into fat, not muscle. The middle front of the upper thigh and the abdomen are commonly recommended injection sites, in part because many people have fat to pinch in these locations. Other injection zones include the buttocks and upper arms, but they may be more difficult for you to reach. Shorter needle lengths, such as 3/16 and 5/16 of an inch, are increasingly common; ask your provider which needle length is best for your body type. Rotating injection sites around the body helps prevent skin irritation and growth or loss of fat tissue.

 
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