Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Ashland, Missouri, USA:

My five year old son, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about two months ago, is already developing a lot of scar tissue on his poor little fingers. I don't know what on earth we are going to do about that. We have tried to test on his arms, but can't get even a drop of blood out. Do you have any suggestions so he won't develop such bad scar tissue in his fingers?


The fingerstick issues can be addressed several ways. First of all, certain glucose meters require very small amounts of blood. The FreeStyle meter, for example, uses the smallest amount. That meter (as well as the One Touch® Ultra, Glucometer DEX , and Glucometer Elite) can use alternative site testing such as the front and back of the arms, the thighs, and the heel of the thumb. You could actually use toes and the heel of the foot, too, but the skin there is thicker. At the thigh and arm, you should rub the skin rather briskly to get some good circulation before the stick. Similarly, you could use a warm compress or similar to get some good circulation to the spot. Be careful that the skin is completely dry before the stick.

As for scarring of the fingertips, be certain that the level of the spring on your poker is set at the lowest level that still allows a poke. For a five year old, I'd think you should get by with the lowest three settings. There are products and lotions made specifically to soften the injection sites. Check this site or look in a lay-person journal, but I'd think that any good moisturizer should do.


Original posting 28 Jan 2003
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


  Home Return to Top

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:42
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2015. Comments and Feedback.