Site Build-Up Help

Hey everyone, I have had some serious site build ups lately, that and some skin sensitivity issues. Anytime I either poke myself with a syringe or an infusion set, it hurts, no matter where it’s at.

This past week, I had a site build up and blockage was detected. By the time I pulled it out, it had already swollen and was inflamed. This has happened once before and doc gave me some antibiotics and put some ice on it. Doing the same thing this time, except, when I was in the shower tonight (disgusting coming up)… it gushed. Insulin (I presume) and a little blood. The swelling naturally went down, and now it’s just tender and a little swollen.

I’m just curious who has experienced similar issues, especially skin sensitivity issues. I can barely give myself insulin (with a syringe) or insert a new infusion set it hurts so bad. My abdominal area has been out of commission for about 4 years now. It kills to stick a syringe there. If you’ve experienced similar problems, what did you do to help? Massage therapy? Medications?


Hi Ryan. Your skin issue sounds pretty serious, especially if you’re having trouble getting insulin into your body. I trust that you are seeing a dermatologist as well as your diabetes doc. I have some skin issues, but I have never had the kind of pain you have spoken about. My abdomen has developed some hardened areas that I avoid when trying to locate a next best spot for the infusion set. I move my fingers over the area to discover where the hardening is. One trick I have learned is to change my infusion sets from time to time, using the quick-sets for 90 degree insertion, and the silhouettes for 45 degree and more lengthy insertions. I wonder if there will be a time when I will run out of places for infusion sets, and have to give up the insulin pump and go back to a reliance only on syringes. Anyway, in my humble opinion, I think what is a normal situation for insertions is some initial pain, but nothing that lingers, and no quick swelling and strong reaction like you have had. I hope you can see a doc very soon who can help you with your skin reactions. You are in my prayers. Larry

Hey Ryan, I’m not having any skin sensitivity issues per se, but am having some issues w/infected infusion sites. I have a sub-optimal health insurance situation (I’m paying for infusion sets out of my own pocket) and I’m trying to stretch the length of time between site changes, from the recommended 3 days to 7 days. Mostly I have good luck w/this but when I don’t, I get the same swelling that you experience. I believe the fluid that ‘gushed’ from this, is probably interstitial fluid and maybe a little pus. To heal this I clean the old site well w/alcohal and then use neosporin and a band aid to keep the site moist for a few days. This works for me and as you know, your mileage may vary. What worries me is that scar tissue may be building during these incidents. So far I think I’ve avoided it.

I’m w/Larry in hoping you can see a doctor soon and you are in my prayers as well. Best wishes in getting this issue resolved.