Alcohol pads


my dr told me that every time i inject myself i should wipe my self with an alcohol pad couse if not it can cause infection did anyone here of this or had issues


I’ve been injecting insulin for 4 years, not once have I ever swabbed the area with an alcohol pad. I don’t swab before lancing my finger for a BG check either. I have never gotten an infection. Bernstein also doesn’t advocate using alcohol pads prior to lancing or injecting. If you are more comfortable and feel safer doing so, then you probably should. Your doctor is probably just “covering his posterior aspect” by recommending this.

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I wipe the insulin vial, but have never wiped the skin and have never had any problem. Alcohol cannot sterilize your skin; the best it can do is clean it. This is one bit of the traditional wisdom that simply isn’t worth torturing yourself about.


I have been injecting or inserting an infusion set for 40 years and have never swabbed with an alcohol pad. I do use one for my Dexcom sensor, but that is going to stay in situ for up to 3 weeks.


I always wipe the insulin pen top with an alcohol swab before attaching a fresh needle and wipe the skin before injecting. I don’t, however, wipe my finger with an alcohol swab before testing unless I’m testing in the car or elsewhere where it isn’t possible or convenient to wash my hands before testing.


I never do that. Only did that during the couple of days I had to stay in the hospital after my diagnosis.


I swabbed for many years – it was standard practice when I was diagnosed in 1970 – but stopped when I learned that swabbing before a fingerstick can dry out and toughen the skin, making lancet pokes (and injections) more painful. Later a friend who was a ballet dancer said she rubbed alcohol on her toes to toughen the skin. Many studies have shown that there is hardly any risk of infection if you don’t swab, though nurses and blood lab technicians continue to swab.

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In seven years of using insulin I’ve never used an alcohol pad. And I routinely inject right through my clothes. I’ve never had an infection. However if I were ever to do an injection in a hospital I would probably demand an alcohol pad.

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Never use alcohol preps for injections or finger sticks. I also reuse pen needles and syringes. I’m bad!

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Same here!


I wipe my skin with an alcohol pad before inserting a sensor AND before inserting an infusion set – but NOT because I’m worried about cleaning the area to avoid infection – I do it to dry the oil off my skin – so that the adhesive will stick better! When I’ve failed to wipe with alcohol first on either infusion site or sensor, the tape peeled away within a short time.

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I always wipe my skin when injecting…but I’m on the pump. But I do inject Humira. The makers of Humira have a STRANGE idea of what a pen is. Their pen is for people squeamish about shots. It’s a spring loaded injector which hides the needle (and hurts worse than a regular syringe injection).

“Dude, I’m not afraid of shots, but I DO want to know when the needle is going in!”


Last time I checked a;cohol swabs have not been proceedure since the late 80’s.

Infection issue is the “boogy man”…

Injected for decades and never had any infection EVER until I used a pump… those were not a needle problem it was a foreign object (canula) which caused those infections.


43 years on insulin, I seldom use any kind of alcohol pad. However, when I do, it relates to my pump set. I also inject through my clothes.


I keep a few alcohol swabs in my testing kit so if I’m out and about and need to test where soap and water isn’t available, I’ll have something. I’m just sure to let it dry before lancing.


I’ve never injected through clothes. I know many who do, and I have no criticism to make. To me it just seems creepy somehow; can’t define precisely why. But different strokes, and so forth—some of the things I do cause others to react the same way. :laughing:


I am T1, diagnosed 35 years ago (I thought it was 36 until I did the math!), and I have not used an alcohol swab since the first year I was diagnosed. I have really dry skin and the alcohol dried it out. They told me to use it before I injected insulin and before I checked my blood sugar. Um…no. I don’t wipe off the rubber seal on the vials, either. I do inject through my clothes most of the time and I do reuse syringes. Have never had a bit of a problem. My HbA1C was 5.4 last time it was checked and I have none of the long-term side effects of T1 we are educated about. I am currently 52 and I keep thinking that as I get older, I may need to do more of those precautionary things. Who knows? Time will tell.


I also don’t use alcohol swabs for injections or blood testing. I did 47 years ago when first diagnosed but that lasted for about 6 months, than it was through jeans, shirts and I to,this day don’t use it on my vial. That being said, I do use Hibiclens for my infusion site changes every three days. I was told 27 years ago that cleaning skin was best way to avoid infections and since I have never had one, I guess it helps or I’m very, very lucky. And early on, I left them in for much longer than I do now.


thanks everyone for their respond i really appreciate it
what a great and wonderful organization