Develop a routine – Make injections easier

Think about brushing your teeth. It is not difficult to do and you don’t have to think about it too much, because you’ve done it a thousand times. Your injection routine will soon become the same. It just takes a bit of practice. 

Get the technique right 

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Speak to your diabetes health care professionals and ask as many questions as you need to understand how to use your pen

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Practice with a pen prior to injecting to help you build confidence with your technique – this can be a durable (refillable) pen or a prefilled pen

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If you are the carer of a child who is learning to inject, get the child to practice on a firm piece of fruit (or even you) without giving the insulin. See our downloadable guides for children
Person holding insulin pen

Choose the right needles 

Person removing cap from needle

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Modern needles are very small and fine to make injecting as easy and comfortable as possible

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There are also products that hide the needle (like NovoFine® Autocover®), so that you can’t see the needle puncturing your skin 

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Use a new needle every time – they are only made for single-use so they become blunt easily, and this make subsequent injections more painful, less accurate and increases risk of infection

Choose your injection site

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Start off using an injection site that is easy to reach (thigh or tummy is best)

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Rotating injection sites will help keep each site healthy – using one site too often will lead to scarring. Changing the sites will let the area have the opportunity to recover properly and will make injections more comfortable and effective:

  

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One rotation routine is to divide each injection site into halves or quarters and use a different half or quarter every week

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At the beginning of each week, move in a clockwise direction one finger-width from the last injection point

Find more information about injection sites

Type 2 patient (Steve) self-injecting

Make it comfortable  

Type 1 patient (Majken) self-injecting

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If you are finding the injections painful, there are a few things you can do to make the site you are injecting as comfortable as possible:

  

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use a frozen spoon or a cloth-protected ice cube 

  

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a numbing cream from the pharmacy, or 

  

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even just a hard push with your thumb onto the injection site for a few seconds just before injecting 


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HQMMA/DV/0117/0007. February 2017.