Infusion set sites

Curious what your pump sites look like after removing an infusion set.

I am 99% sure that I'm allergic to the cannula, and that I also find the adhesive irritating (I often find things like Band-Aids irritating, too). I've never seen another site in order to compare, though, and no doctor has ever seen mine, although my endocrinologist agrees that, from my description and from my blood sugars, I seem to have an allergy and we are trying different sets to see what works.

Usually when I remove an infusion set there is a bright red, raised area around where the cannula was, sometimes it stretches out and follows the path where the cannula was under my skin. This area is always very itchy. There is also a raised circle around where the plastic hub was, and often (but not always) a red ring around the outer edge of where the adhesive was and sometimes tiny hives underneath.

Also curious how long your sites last. Mine barely last two days before they stop working. Sometimes they only last one. My sites get itchy after one or two days, and stay itchy for a day or two after removing them.

I know some degree of bumps/irritation is normal, but I'm just wanting something I can compare mine with.

I don't have anything like that, Jen, no red area, hives or anything. and no itchiness. My sites last 3-4 days if I have no bent canulas.

Skin may look a bit red, but discoularing ( sp ???)never lasts .I use Sure-T's 8 mm , lasts at least 48 hours .
PS glad to see you here !!

So when you take the infusion set out, is your skin normal except for a little hole? I thought most people had a little red bump, but maybe that in and of itself is a sign of a mild allergy ...?

The two sites my endocrinologist recommended are Insets (if adhesive is the main issue) or Contact-Detach (same as Sure-Ts, if cannula is the issue). I'm pretty sure the cannula is the main issue and adhesive is a secondary issue. I tried Contact-Detach a few years ago and found that a lot of them bled, so I ended up going back to Comforts.

I am still around, just super busy in "real life"!!

It's normal except for a little hole. There is a small imprint of the circle, but that doesn't last. No red bumps for me.

When were " those sets " bleeding ?? I am very particular in carefuly removing the Sure-T's straight out and I don't feel anything doing it this way ( not side ways !!) ...wish you were living here and I could show you :)

Usually they bled while I was wearing them - I'd notice blood on the adhesive, or it would hurt and there would be a lump of blood right under my skin, or else I'd try to bolus and I'd smell insulin and it would bleed when I removed them (also straight out). Not sure what the issue was, but it happened with about half the sets, so I just gave up after three months and went back to my old ones.

I always have a round, red area where the cannula was, and sometimes I have red, itchy edges of where the adhesive was, But other than that, no problems. When I first started pumping (14 years ago, TODAY!), we used to have to cover the site with a dressing, and I found out I was allergic to Tegaderm. Maddeningly itchy and red!! But I do fine with Hypafix or IV3000, so not much of a problem nowadays. And my sites do last a long time.

I hope you can get the problem resolved!

I use Cavalon as a prep before pod placement and it has resolved my adheisive allergys. Used to have angrey red sites but no move. Best of luck.

I sometimes have a small bump but it goes away in a few days. Removing the the adhesive patch can be a problem and will cause friction burns when pulled loose, sometimes I use a adhesive remover to loosen the patch so it will not pull skin when removed causing the red outline and rash.I always use a skin-prep before insertion, and absolutely cannot use the steel infusion sets they cause rash, bleeding, and absorption problems soon after insertion most of the time my infusion sites are benign just leaving a small hole that heals up in a few hours.

Mine can last up to about 4 days, and there will be a little indentation in my skin where the plastic hub was, but that goes away pretty quickly, within a couple of hours. I don't really get itchy from the infusion sets. But I would the adhesive tape with the CGM. The opsite would make me itch and break out.

Hi Jen! I was at the dietician at the end of January, and she asked to see my stomach to see if it was my sites that were causing unexplained highs and lows. I thought the reactions to the site was normal, and never considered a new infusion set, but since changing, I've noticed a world of difference! I would end up with a very red, and sometimes crusty spot where the cannula was inserted, and often was itcy under the adhesive. The scabs would last a long time, and continue to itch. Also, I would end up with lots of little red darkened areas on my stomach. I have since switched to the Sure-T's. I also start by prepping my skin, first with an alcohol swab, then I use Benadryl (the spray kind), then I use a liquid bandage. When I pull the infusion set out, I end up with almost no sign of a cannula having been there. It's awesome! Also, my bloodsugars have been much more regulated, with fewer unexplained highs and lows. Good luck and feel free to message me if you have any questions!

This would be normal for me, I do get 3-4 days out of most sites, but have had to change as often as 1 day because of the itching. try these things. First make sure the site is very dry. Mine often get itchy if I apply the site right after a shower.

Second, I use an alcohol adhesive called IV prep to apply my site. I do not know if that would help or not but it might be worth a try. Mine tends to work better when I use it liberally. If you would like to try the IV Prep send me you name and address and i will send you a few. That way you will not need to buy any to know if it works.

As for the red bump it is normal swelling where it is built up insulin that is not yet absorber.

Rick Phillips

Thanks - your description sounds almost identical to what my sites look like! I definitely think a lot of my random highs are due to site issues. I wasn't aware there was spray-on Benadryl (all I have is the cream), I'll have to see if I can find this and give it a try in addition to trying the Insets and Contact-Detach/Sure-Ts.

I have tried IV Prep (at least I think it was that, it was sticky stuff?) and it made me more itchy ... I think my skin is sensitive to something in the adhesive glue. I have heard of other types of prep wipes to use, though.

I almost never put in a new site after a shower, so my skin being wet is usually not a problem. I also cap off the site before I get it wet, because I find if I don't it often gets irritated and dies later that day (maybe from water getting in it).

I don't think the bumps I get are due to insulin build-up, because they last for 1-2 days (itchy) after removing the site, and spot takes a week or two to fully disappear. I've had allergy skin testing before and the bump reminds me a lot of the hives I get all over my arm from that, which (combined with how extremely itchy it gets sometimes) is what made me think of an allergy.

Yeah. You're Canadian right? I got mine at Shoppers Drug Mart.

Hi Jen,

I don't have nearly as bad as an allergy to infusion sets as it sounds like you do, but one thing I noticed that DOES help keep the itching and redness to a minimum is to NOT use an alcohol wipe before inserting my site. It sounds weird, but I think the alcohol was drying my skin out and making it worse or something. I just usually insert either right after a shower or just make sure the area is relatively clean (i.e. that I haven't sweated a lot recently or anything like that). Just my two cents. Hope you find something that works for you!

I pass by a Shoppers every day, so will pop in and see if they have it. Thanks!


The only other thing I cna suggest is using Cetaphil products. My skin is awful and my dermatologist suggested using Cetaphil products, no scent detergent and he prescribed an antibiotic that i cannot recall the name of (I am away from home right now and if you want it I will let you know when i get home) that I use when things flare up. He said I have a low grade infection that every once in awhile comes to the surface and attacks my hair follicles. I literally cannot stop scratching.

I cannot say any of that is better for the issue you describe, I wish i had better advice.

Rick Phillips