Scar Tissue or Love Handles?

So, I have lost a couple pounds recently, but have some stubborn areas on my stomach. I have almost exclusively injected in my abdomen for 8 years. On both sides of my stomach I have patches of tissue that seem too hard to be fat. I was wondering if anyone else has this issue? Also, is there any way to make this go away? Of course I have started injecting in my legs and arms, but want to know if this will even help, and if there is anything additional to do.


I was diagnosed with scar tissue in my upper abdomen in Dec, 2007. I pump insulin and I was getting “no delivery” alarms. I was told to stop using that part of my body and give it a rest. I used my upper abdomen for many years before pumping. I used to get many highs with some injections because the scar tissue caused delayed and uneven absorpition of the insulin. Now I know why I had that problem even before pumping. I am now using my legs on the tops and sides for my infusion sets and pumping. My absorption is very quick and very smooth and even compared to my abdomen. I may have to give my abdomen months of rest before I can eliminate the scar tissue. If you have a hard time pushing the needle into your skin and this happens repeatedly then you probably have scar tissue. Rotate your sites to keep this from happening. Good luck!


Rishona, I’ve had this same problem. If you change your injection sites, it should go away after awhile.

Thanks! This site is so great. It’s nice to know that other people go through the same things as me…

I’ve been wondering the exact same thing! You aren’t alone. I’m fairly thin but have these weird fatty looking deposits on my stomach. No matter how many crunches I do, I always have a little bump. I try to inject elsewhere but it hurts so much more. I wonder how long it should take before the scarring goes away. Where do you inject in your arms? I haven’t tried that.

Best of luck,

i would inject on the back of my arms…(i’m back on the pump now)

I’ve been injecting in the back of my arms and back of the upper legs. I’ve tried the front of my upper legs, but I’m getting little bruises and I don’t think the absorption is very good.

I have been injecting into my abdomen for 14 yrs. I don’t have any thickening yet, but I do remember my doc checking when I was younger. I use the child-sized needles on my pens – they are the thinnest, shortest possible that can do the job. That seems to be helping, because you do less damage. So, once the scarring goes away (by rotating sites), see if you can maybe try using a thinner gauge &/or shorter needle (or syringe). That may help somewhat.

yup, i have one of those bumps too. being female, it makes me really self conscious, especially when i wear tops that hug. but my boyfriend thinks it’s cute, so i guess it’s ok. hopefully it’ll go away somewhat since i’m finally switching to a pump :slight_smile:

I don’t have a technique really for injecting in my arm. I use 8mm needles with my pen and I just reach one arm around the back of one arm with the other and inject! I use the backs of my upper arms. I’m starting to see the bumps on my stomach go down a little bit.

I’ve worn pump settings in my abdomen for 8 years. My CDE suggested I avoid the area for 6 months and it would be a lot better. Wearing them in my behind now and am surprised that it’s more comfortable than I thought it would be. So I’m going to try her suggestion and see if I can lose the thickness and bloating in the area. When I was on MDI (ten years), I had scar tissue in my arms and legs. Since I moved to pump therapy and avoided those areas, the tissue has largely healed.

This is a huge issue for me, and the biggest reason I joined tudiabetes, and why I started going to a CDE recently. She told me that the scar tissue will never go away. I am constantly wondering if I have the thing in a good spot. Then she said that what I’ll have to is up my basals if I’m in one of these spots! oh, great, I’ve got another thing to factor into the equation! How do I know, and how much, etc!

When I used insulin pens, I would hold the pen/syringe between the thumb and forefinger of my left hand, and use my other three fingers to on that hand to push the skin forward on my right arm. Not a pinch, put keep the fingers together and push the skin all in one direction until some raises up. With the tip of the needle resting against the skin, I’d then push it in and then use my thumb or index finger to push the button (you can let up on the pocket of skin at this point to help steady the pen). You can also use the heel of your palm (just above the wrist) to help pinch more skin if necessary.

If your hands are small, you might try leaning against an outside corner wall or in a doorframe, and have the wall/doorframel help pinch the skin. It’s not the most conveninet option, but it frees up a few fingers.

I remember that it was always a bit of a contortionist routine for me with arm shots when I was on MDI, but I rotated there twice a day for 10 years (what is that, like 7,000 times?). I would pinch up the back of the right arm (for example) with my left hand and use the right hand to hold the syringe and push the plunger in with my right index finger. The drawbacks were that (a) now that I’m less flexible than a teenager, that’s harder to do, (b) it did cause me to flex the bicep a little too much and risk injection into a muscle, © and it did limit the total surface area available to me so that I occasionally developed lumpy areas there. But I was a determined kid and in all my life, I never allowed anyone else to administer my injections. Maybe it’s because my mom stunk at it. laughs

Scar tissue does remain when you overuse an area, but I’m amazed that a little vacation from certain spots does wonder for your body.

Me too! Weight loss and now there is this hangy-thingy on my left side where I’ve injected forever. I was at the Endo this week and they said it would eventually go away. So, now I switch it up all over the adbomen. That and C-Sections (2) things just are not pretty in my tummy area!

ouch, sorry! I also have a huge scar from a surgery when I ruptured my kidney 30 years ago. being short also cuts down on skin area.