Bruising at injection sites from overuse?

I get a lot of discoloring and bruising at the injection sites while using my pen. Is there something I’m doing wrong, like pressing too hard, or overusing the same sites? I tend to use my stomach, as my doc discouraged me from using my upper thigh, but its hard not to hit the same general area.

It seems that the long acting stuff (levimir in my case) causes more bruising than the humalog, but of course I’m taking much more levimir.

Hi Scott,

Did your doc give you a reason? I always inject long acting lantus in my upper thighs and have no problems and I know a lot of people do the same with levemir. Absorption of insulin can be a bit slower in the thigh area but since levemir is long acting that doesn’t really matter.

But you could try to do two injections of levemir instead of one, so you don’t inject so much insulin at once (if that’s whats causing the bruising). Maybe that helps.


My doc said the absorption rates are different in the thighs. I don’t know if that means that its less effective in the thigh or slower. I hadnt realized that for long acting it really doesnt matter how fast, as long as its reasonable fast.

So when you do multiple injections of the long acting stuff, are you taking two 12 hours apart, or are you just injecting the dose in two spots at 24 hour intervals?

I use Humulin N (12 hour insulin) and I bruise in my stomach area as well (it’s the only area I use to inject). Two of my doctors (family and gyno) have both mentioned my bruises while mentioning that they see it on lots of people who inject. So it, apparently, seems to be a normal occurrence.

And as Kat mentioned, injecting into your thighs (a muscular area) does slow down injection while injecting into your stomach area (a fatty area) doesn’t.

I split the dosage and do half on each side of the belly, one after the other.

I meant two different spots right after another, although many people take their insulin 12h apart, because it doesn’t last 24h for them.
And afaik insulin is a bit slower to act in the thigh, but no less effective.

Basically the only time I get a bruise mark is when I hit a blood vessel, but I am surprised about your Doctor saying not to use your upper thigh. I take 8 shots a day, 2 Lantus, 3 Symlin, and 3 Novolin R and I have to use multiple sites and yes I get my battle scars of using so many needles each month. But the Symlin pen is the trickiest to use, but I overcome it by the using my large site use. So yes, the many bruises you get may be by the surface vessels pop while either going through one or several of them.

I get bruises from my levimir pen, but not my injected humalog. I asked my doctor about it, and he had no clue what could cause it. I am not sure if it is a type of insuliin thing or a type of injection thing. I noticed the bruising was worse when I had low albumin (a protien the liver produces and the kidneys filter). I rarely get bruising from the humalog, maybe twice a year. Now I get a levimir bruise like every week or two.

I try to inject my levimir in my legs and my humalog in my stomach so I don’t get too much scar tissue in any area.

I got big bruises until I switched to the 3/16 31 gauge needles. Now no bruises and can’t feel the injection at all.

Ive been using the 3/16 (5mm) 31 gauge needles the whole time. Its more the levimir. Ive taken to injecting the levimir in my thighs, and the humalog in my stomach, and it helps with the bruising. I recently was lazy and gave myself a levimir in the stomach, and surprise, a big bruise showed up again! Wonder what that is.

I use apidra, injected usually in my stomach, and lantus, usually in my thighs. It bruises, not always noticible, but it’s always there feeling bruised. I started shooting the fast acting (at that time humalog) in my arms, but after I got questions from co-workers about my significant other beating up on me, I switched to only non-visible places to take it. That way if the bruises actually manage to manifest it doesn’t show. I still occassionally take it in the arms, but every once in a while isn’t near as hard on my skin. My thighs however turn lovely shades of color. I think it may be the long acting stuff for some reason.

I’ll get a bruise every once in a while, injecting novolog and lantus but it hasn’t happened in a while. It seems to happen alot and then stop?? And it will happen on my stomach and legs. I wonder if it’s when I’m low on “something” in my system.

I’ve been told to inject my levimir in my upper thigh and I find the same thing, it always bruises more than the short acting. I spoke to my diabetes nurse and she said its completely normal, just don’t inject in bruised sites until they have healed!

i tend to think bruising is something other than type of insulin, because the mode of delivery is subdermal, the insulin itself should not interfere with dermal bloodflow. Before i went to pens, i never had any bruising, but my current batch of BD pen needles seem a little ‘rougher’ than the BD syringe needles i was on before. The insulin type should not effect bruising. I think the temporal grouping of bruises is likely to do with batch defects in needles. When i look at my pen needles at profile, i can see that they are not perfectly smooth, where as i never noticed that with the syringes i was using.

Chances are that you are just hitting a capilliary vein when you inject. These can, I understand be very difficult to find, afterall we are injecting from an unnatural angle and cappiliaries are random. There is no precise place for them! I get bleeders that I can see and also bruises which is effectively bleeding just below the surface of the skin where capilliaries lie.

One way I do it is to put one injection (fast acting) above the belly button, using a different site on each occassion, say, left, middle, right. And use the slower acting injection below the belly button. The one above the belly button has been found to work quicker the higher up it is.

Addendum - also try using a shorter needle.

Shorter 4mm or 6mm and gauge 31 or 32 gauge. I have been using a 31 gauge 6mm on Lantus and 32gauge 6mm on Novolog. Which gauge and length is prefer-ed? Had been using 4mm.


How much Symlin do you inject each time? I take 120 units twice daily . Also, where do you inject?