If you repeatedly inject insulin in the same location on your body, fat and scar tissue can accumulate. Lipohypertrophy is an abnormal accumulation of fat underneath the surface of the skin. Stats show that up to 50 percent of people with type 1 diabetes experience lipohypertrophy at some point.
How to Find a Lipohypertrophy
To self-inspect for lipohypertrophies, think about the areas where you do your injections. One way is to stand in front of a mirror, use a hand cream or lotion and use two fingers to slowly press on the area where you usually do your injections. You may feel a difference in consistency from one area to the other - if it feels nice and soft in one area or a little bit thicker in the other, you’ve identified a lipohypertrophy. The second method is to stand in the shower, use some soap and go from an area where you don’t do your injections to an area where you do to feel if there’s any difference in consistencies. Next, consult with your diabetes healthcare team for lipohypertrophy treatment.
How to Prevent Lipohypertrophy
To prevent lipohypertrophy, always rotate your sites and rotate within your sites. There’s a lot of space that you can use within each injection zone. Also, you want to make sure that you’re using a clean needle each time that you’re injecting. It can take a patient three to six months to recover from lipohypertrophy. If you do have lipohypertrophy, ensure it’s resolved before you start to use that site again.
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