Just learning where to post things on this site :) Already posted this in a group and now trying the forum too...I read some past posts but nothing quite answered my questions...
Does anyone do gentle massage or “skin brushing” techniques to prevent scar tissue from forming after removing a pod or infusion site? Are there any other techniques you use (besides site rotation and Ultrasound) to prevent or reduce scar tissue?
I am very petite, but muscular, with very little fat, so I don’t have a lot of places that I can place my pod. I tried the fatest part of my thigh and still hit muscle recently, owww! Also, my abdomen and love handles are off limits from years of injections and low absorption now. I’m having to reuse the same sites on my arms and butt more often than I’d like so I'd like to prevent/reduce any scar tissue as long as I can.
Also, when I was doing MDI, my former doctor told me NEVER to rub an injection site immediately after injecting. Does anyone know why this would be?? I tend to massage a site immediately after removing the pod, which is the same concept...
You don't want to rub an injection site right after because it will make you absorb the insulin faster. A lot of people have recommended Vitamin E to me in the past, but some of the over the counter stretch mark creams seem to help. Hope this helps you some.
I agree that gentle massaging right after injection or removal of an infusion set may speed up insulin absorption and cause problems, although I believe the chances are low. I have heard of some deep tissue massaging to try to remove built up scar tissue, but I believe it is minamally effective.
Site rotation and the length of time you leave the cannula in your skin are to the two most effective methods you can use. Three days max in one area (my endo has suggested two day if there is absorption problems) and let it rest for a long time before using again. I have 18 areas (1.5" x 1.5") across my abdomen and love handles that I use for three days max. This means I hope a site gets a rest for 50 days before re-using.
My only other thought is what is the length of the cannula on the omnipod? Medtronic has two different length of cannulas (6 mm and 9 mm). The shorter cannula is for leaner pumpers and may allow you to try different sites.
I think you can rub or massage an infusion site after removal without any problems, unless you just bolused insulin. Rubbing an injection site right after an injection does increase the absorption. It can also lead to bruising and capillary damage. However, an infusion site has been there for a couple of days and has usually started healing, even with the cannula in.
To decrease the chance of developing scar tissue, ensure you change your infusion site frequently. Leaving in an infusion site longer than a couple of days (even three is long) can develop scar tissue. The body begins to respond to the foreign matter in an infusion site within the first 24 hours. Also, the body wants to heal around the site and will actually begin to form tissue around the cannula to 'push' out the foreign material. This is why we all usually have weeping of our injection sites after a couple of days when bolusing. Also, this tissue formation slows site healing and ends up being scar tissue.
Definitely use a skin cream to soften the area of your infusion site. This will also make it less sensitive to placement.
There isn't much else you can do.
Best of luck!
Good information, thanks Andy! When you refer to "using a skin cream to soften the are of the infusion site"...what kind/type of cream are you referring to? Thanks!