How to Stop Most Bruises from Insulin Injections

A certified diabetes educator provides seven tips.



Certified diabetes educator Jennifer Smith of Integrated Diabetes Services provides answers to common diabetes questions. Have a question? Email our editor at cidlebrook@epscomm.com.

Q: Is it common to get bruises at the site of an insulin injection? What can you do about that?

A: There are many reasons that an injection site might develop a bruise. Try some of these techniques to decrease the chances of bruising:

  1. Ice the injection site for about 30 to 60 seconds prior to giving the injection.The cold helps to shrink away the capillary blood vessels which may get punctured during a shot.
  2. If the bruising happens specifically in your abdomen, make sure you are not injecting too close to your belly button.
  3. Shorter needles tend to cause more bruising than longer needles.
  4. If you are on blood thinners like warfarin, aspirin, or Plavix, you may be more at risk for bruising. Discuss this with your healthcare provider.
  5. Make sure you are injecting at a 90 degree angle to your skin, and not on a slant.
  6. Always use a new needle or pen cap for insulin pens. Reusing needles causes more trauma to the tissue.
  7. Switch injection sites. Repeated injection into the same area can cause bruising, as well as the development of scar tissue.

About Integrated Diabetes Services
Integrated Diabetes Services provides one-on-one education and glucose regulation for people who use insulin. Diabetes “coaching” services are available in-person and remotely via phone and the Internet for children and adults. Integrated Diabetes Services offers specialized services for insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor users, athletes, pregnancy & Type 1 diabetes, and those with Type 2 diabetes who require insulin. For more information, call 1-610-642-6055, or write to info@integrateddiabetes.com.

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Jennifer Smith is the Director of Lifestyle and Nutrition at Integrated Diabetes Services. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Biology from the University of Wisconsin. She is a registered and licensed dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified trainer on most makes/models of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems. She has lived with Type 1 diabetes since she was a child, has navigated exercise, pregnancy, and adult life with diabetes and thus has first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day events that affect diabetes management.