Is there anything that I can do to lessen the pain in my fingertips after checking my blood glucose levels
Yes, there are several things you can do to avoid this problem, including the following:
Don’t use rubbing alcohol.
Repeated use will thicken the skin. Instead, wash your hands in warm, soapy water prior to your finger stick. Warm water will help you produce a better drop of blood. Once your finger is pricked, do not squeeze immediately. Instead, hang your hand down and let gravity do the work for you. Try ’milking’ your finger prior to lancing. Excessive squeezing to get the blood to flow could cause bruising.
Experiment with different lancing devices.
There are a variety of different products on the market to assist in glucose testing, some of which allow you to dial the depth of the ’poke.’ Also, there are different tips or ’caps’ for some blood letting devices. The one with the larger hole is shorter and will allow you to get more blood.
Try a shallower puncture.
The deeper you lance, the more tissue you damage. Try pulling back the tip of the lancing device a bit instead of holding it too tightly against your finger.
Try different lancets.
Many lancets on the market are interchangeable with different lancing devices. Look for shorter and finer products and talk to your diabetes educator. Many companies give educators free samples for clients to try.
Change your sites.
It’s better to ’spread the damage’ over as many sites as possible instead of abusing that favorite spot. Target the sides of your fingers instead of the soft center area where there are more nerve endings. I suggest clients go in a ’horseshoe’ pattern around their fingertips. Following your test, make sure that you apply firm pressure at the site of the finger prick, using a tissue, for several seconds or until you have no more leakage. You want to make sure that the bleeding has completely stopped at the site to prevent bruising and further pain.
Use a lotion.
Regular use of a lotion following your test will help soften and comfort your fingertips. Make sure you wash off the lotion before your next test. Lotion on your hands many interfere with the accuracy of your reading.
Everyone with diabetes is different, but consider trying some of these tips.