Fingertip pain lasting days after a test

Every now and then I have fingertip pain that lasts for a few days that I feel must be related to a finger prick. I have one now and wonder if there is any wisdom about how to clear it away.

I have been looking for signs of infection or any puss forming but I see no visible signs. Its as though a lancet hit a nerve and that nerve just won’t stop complaining about it… During the day when my mind is occupied and I’m busy I hardly notice it (and when I do I just let it go). But at night its persistent enough to keep me from sleeping; I bring an ice pack to bed but once that melts I am awaken by the pain again, so I’m getting poor sleep.

Changed the lancet of course (and I should probably do so more often). Though as I say I don’t think its infected.

Thoughts? Tips?

That smarts.

I suspect it is the location of the “prick”… is there a particular finger where this occurs? I learned in this group to use all five “fingers”, of each hand, but use one digit each day. That way there is added time for healing. Just a thought. Might add, my pinky doesn’t hold up to a high test day.

One more tip…if you are lancing the pads of your fingers stop. Use the sides of your finger tips instead - significantly less sensitivity there. Also, always use the most shallow setting on your lancing device possible (to get the drop). I’ve experienced what you’ve described when using too deep a setting on a “fresh” fingertip. Hope this helps!


Change your lancet each time.


I think this must be variable. I’ve spent a lot of time doing physical work and playing stringed instruments, and I always prick towards the center of my pads. Why? Because it is far less painful than on the sides of the fingers for me. But, your advice is still sound! Because of advice like this a couple of years ago, I started exploring pricking my finger in different locations. Even though it may make me an outlier, that’s how I discovered the center of the pads being less sensitive.


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Might seem like an obvious suggestion, but I’ll say it anyways… try different lancing tools. The OneTouch Delica are probably one of the least painful ones I’ve used (downside to these can be that the lancet goes dull quicker, thus you might change them more often), but I’m also a fan of the Accu-Chek Multi-clix because you don’t have to deal with so many sharps and it’s easy to change lancets on the go.

Also, play with the depth setting on them. I know which depth works for me on each finger so I can set it to the absolute minimum needed. I hardly even feel it. I never have to exceed a ‘3’ on my lancing tools. Those with calluses or thicker skin will probably need a higher setting though.

As with most others here, I don’t change my lancet each time I use it. Generally only when it comes to mind or when I feel it’s dull enough.

Pro-tip: The disposable ones they use at the hospital are the worst. No setting, maximum force and depth. Guaranteed blood, but also guaranteed pain. If ever you need to use one at a doctor’s office or hospital that isn’t your own try asking for a child one. They don’t use as much force and don’t go as deep. If you’re usually a 2-3 on your personal lancing device these will probably be sufficient.

Thanks to all for the comments. In my case I think the lancet depth was the issue. I had a few times I’d attempt to lance my finger (and I felt the prick so I know the lancet came through) but I was getting no blood. I know there are other solutions to that problem, but I rashly just dialed my Delica to the max. I suppose I thought the worst that could happen was greater pain in the moment but now think its likely i hit a deeper nerve that isn’t used to getting hit. I have dialed-down and will find other ways to “milk it” when needed.

I’m glad to know those who change their lancet daily are few. I now change at least once a week (which is more often than ever before) as I now use a fresh lancet when I am calibrating a Dexcom sensor for the first time (or the “fake first time” if I’m getting a 2nd or 3rd week out of a sensor…).