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Question:

From North Carolina, USA:

My 61 year old mother has had diabetes for approximately 8 years (since the removal of her pancreas). She takes the normal NPH and Regular insulin mixed. Her blood sugars are maintained for the most part with her insulin at low doses.

For the last year she has developed a rash which many dermatologists have not been able to treat or find the cause. Last week she injected her insulin in her arm. As the needle came out it started itching immediately. And now this rash is on her arm. For the most part the rash is on her legs, back of one hand, and a small patch on her abdomen. The rash starts as tiny blisters, then develops into a red raised bumps, approximately 1/2 cm to 1/4. It spreads very easy (only to her) and causes extreme itching. A shot of steroids (for arthritis) in her lumbar region cleared the rash for approximately 1 month, but has returned now as mentioned before. Is it possible that she is allergic to the insulin? Have you ever heard of this type of rash associated with diabetes?

Answer:

We have had very occasional patients who are allergic to a compound added to the insulin, metocreosol, which causes a reaction similar to what is described. The only way we found to get around that was to change the insulin type or brand. We contacted the insulin's manufacturer, and spoke with one of their medical directors.

LSF

Original posting 6 Mar 1999
Posted to Insulin

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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