The needles used to inject insulin are very small as the insulin only needs to be injected under the skin – not into a muscle or vein. Once it's been injected, it soaks into small blood vessels and is taken into the bloodstream. It takes some time to build your confidence but once you become more relaxed injections will get easier and soon become second nature.
There are 3 main areas where you can inject insulin – stomach, buttocks and thighs. Sometimes your health care team may recommend other sites such as your arms. Because all these areas is covered with wide skin. You should make sure to inject at different sites each time.
It is very important to rotate injection sites, as injecting into the same site can cause a build-up of lumps under the skin (also known as lipohypertrophy), if this happens your insulin will not work properly.
Test your blood glucose levels as recommended.
Make sure your hands and the area you’re injecting are clean.
Eject 2 units of insulin into the air to make sure the tip of the needle is filled with insulin (this is called an ‘air shot’).
Choose an area where there is plenty of fatty tissue, such as the tops of thighs or the bottom.
If you have been advised to, lift a fold of skin (the lifted skin fold should make sure you don’t squeezed tightly that will causes skin blanching or pain) and insert the needle at a 90° angle. With short needles you don’t need to pinch up, unless you are very thin. Check with your diabetes health care team.
Put the needle in quickly. If you continue to find injections painful, try numbing the area of skin by rubbing a piece of ice for about 15 to 20 seconds before injecting.
Inject the insulin, ensuring the plunger (syringe) or thumb button (pen) is fully pressed down and count to 10 before removing the needle.
Release the skin fold and dispose of the used needle safely.
Remember to use a new needle every time. Reusing a needle will make it blunt and can make injecting painful.