Licking Your Fingers. Well . . . do you?

My wife thinks it’s gross that I lick my finger after testing but I told her “Lots of people do it.”

Of course that was just a knee-jerk, defensive response. I have no idea if lots of people do it or not. I remember seeing one of the male hosts of dLife do it, but nobody else.

So. do you or don’t you? Before, after or both?

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After. What else are you supposed to do? Wipe it on your pants?
Who wants to carry around a ton of alcohol swaps? I’d have to carry around a whole box I test so often.
If I’m with someone new or out in public I’ll use a paper napkin. If the only thing available is a cloth napkin then I’ll lick my finger anyway and make some joke about it.

I sure do. If i cut myself accidentaly i immediately stick the bleeding finger in my mouth. Someone once tried to tell me it was bad to do that because of the sugar in the blood. True or not, it was the craziest thing i have ever heard so I ignore it. And in my mind, its not gross at all. Its your own blood. If you bit your tongue, you would be tasting the same blood.

hey Justin, I’ve heard that licking your fingers pre-test can also lead to inaccuracies due to your saliva or whatever else was in your mouth. Not that testing with food on your fingertips is any better, but I’m under the impression that a licking it wouldn’t really fix the problem.

a Post-swab on a stick would be interesting. Maybe even a stick that’ll suck up all the blood even though it doesn’t need it just so it’s an easier clean up.

a pre-swab lancet would also be kinda interesting

Ewwww! Neither! I’m an obsessive hand washer so my hands are usually freshly washed before I test and I wipe off with a tissue after testing.

When testing in my bathroom at home, I use a single square of toilet paper. When testing in the car or most other places, I lick. It’s typically not even a drop, so I have to fulfill my vampiric impulse through other means.

BTW, responding defensively first, and then hoping one can actually find evidence to make themselves look right, is how most people operate :slight_smile:

Of course. Always. But I try to be discreet if I’m doing it in public.

Ha, I can’t really remember the last time i used a napkin or alcohol swab to wipe my finger. I am so bad i always lick it. My husband thinks it is horrible and my dad thinks it is not the most sanitary thing to do. If I am in front of somebody new or at a restaurant kind if just put my head down and due it really fast, hoping nobody sees :slight_smile: I think the only time I ever worry about needing to do it the proper way is when I am having to perform a test in front of a doctor or someone who is medical, because than i really get yelled at. What a great question?

Actually, TuDiabetes member Amy Tenderich wrote about this in her blog “Diabetes Mine” last year, and there were lots of comments from all of the finger lickers out there in the diabetes community (including me), although most seem to do it after rather than before they test as a convenient way of cleaning up after testing. The practice is pretty common, although some people are grossed out by it.

Never have.

I always lick. It’s the process - 1) poke, 2) apply sample to strip, 3) apply pinky to mouth and wait for the result. You don’t mess with simplicity like that.

I’ve dealt with my mom’s diabetes my while life, and plainly remember chatising her for using the same pre-poke alcohol swab for the post-poke wipe off. Boy, was I stupid. I had no idea of how this wacky world operated. Now that I myself have the T1, I have never, ever, in my whole diabetic life used an alcohol swab, a tissue, or anything more sanitary than the spit I just finished producing to clean up the carnage. It’s just not what I choose to worry about.

I’m thinking of throwing a kleenex in my meter case to wipe off the first drop from a poke and then test the second, but keeping a blood stained cloth for days at a time doesn’t sound all that sanitary either.

One more thing, doesn’t spit have sanitary properties? Like enzymes or something along those lines? And hey, people are using lizard spit to control their T2!


I definitely lick my finger. What better way is there to stop a finger from bleeding? My friends have also encouraged this habit, telling me to suck my finger when I complain it won’t stop bleeding. Apparently saliva helps blood to coagulate and clot!

Always. Only after I test. I always do this rubbing dance with my testing finger and my clothes before I test. You’d think I was trying to start a fire or something.

I’m always surprised when I get a high blood sugar while sucking on my finger. I have yet to be able to taste anything that’s remotely sweet. Metallic maybe, but not sweet.

Sorry if that grosses someone out.

I’m not surprised this has been covered before, and by Amy Tenderich, too. But I’ve never seen anything on it.

Frankly, I feel I’ve been exonerated - justified before a jury of my finger lickin’ peers.

Thank you.

of course i do, as does my sister, also diabetic.
i think it’s normal.

Another licker here. When I am can, before, I wash my hands. After, almost always, I lick my fingers.

Actually, I used to NOT to, but I am almost sure I read something about this in Dr. Bernstein’s book, which made me consider it! :slight_smile:

Heck yeah! I lick whenever there’s something that needs licking.

Mostly after.

I always lick my finger after I prick it as well. Any diabetics I have seen have done it as well. As for alcohol wipes, to much of a hassle to have to pull on it, clean the area and then throw it away, I would go through a box in probably a few days as much as I test and inject.

Heck yeah I lick! LOL

Sometimes before but that depends on the situation. If I was just eating or drinking something sweet like juice or a piece of fruit I won’t lick before a test but I ALWAYS lick after.

I’ve been doing it for so long I don’t even think about it just prick, squeeze a drop on the strip, then my finger goes in my mouth…Unless its a lot, then I’ll grab a tissue or something.

As for what people think…well, I’ve been doing it for so long that family and friends don’t even bat an eye.
In public…I actually think it’s more discrete for me to do it this way then looking around for a napkin or something.

The only time I’m really self conscious about it is when I’m at the docs….
It’s the oddest thing when the nurse, after she takes my blood pressure and weight etc, wants to test my BG. She gets out an alcohol wipe, like I EVER use one of those, and comes at me like she’s gonna do the pricking…yeah, I don’t think so. LOL And then hands me a little piece of gauze.
That’s when I’m all self conscious about sticking my finger in my mouth.