Having lumps at your insulin injection sites is called lipohypertrophy, says Dr Linjawi. This refers to an accumulation of fat under the skin. If you inject into one of these lumps, your insulin is less effective and your blood glucose levels will run high. Inject just next to it, and you can have a hypo.
Temporarily stop injecting in the area. By avoiding any further trauma to the site, the fat will (in most cases) disappear over time. In extreme cases, liposuction may improve the appearance of lumps. Speak with your care team about whether this is right for you.
Reduce your chances of developing lipohypertrophy by:
- Rotating your injection sites.
- Using a needle of the correct gauge. You’ll need one that is long enough to penetrate the outer layer of skin, but not into muscle.
- Splitting larger volumes of insulin into two injections, injected in different areas.
- Injecting slowly and then applying gentle pressure to the area.
- Using a new needle for each injection. Blunt needles traumatise the skin.