Bridget McNulty is a Type 1 diabetic and co-founder of Sweet Life Diabetes Community, South Africa’s largest online diabetes community. Sweet Life shares diabetes information and advice both on their website and their Facebook community, Diabetic South Africans. Their goal is to show that it’s possible to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes. For more on Sweet Life, click here.

For those of us who inject insulin, it can become very much part of our everyday lives – just one more thing we have to do before we eat. (Dish up, calculate the carb count, inject, and then eat!) It’s easy to fall into a bad habit of injecting into the same area every time we eat, but rotating injection sites is really important. Do you know how often you should rotate your injection sites? Here’s all you need to know.

Why rotating injection sites is important

It’s important to inject into different places in your body so that the injection sites have time to heal. If you inject into the same area over and over, it can lead to lumps and mounds under the skin known as lipohypertrophy. By rotating where you inject, you can inject into the same spot as little as possible.

The most common places to inject are in the stomach (abdomen) area, upper thighs, arms and top of the butt. Whichever you choose, divide the area into sections and inject into one section per week – but always one finger width away from the last injection. If you use the Zone System, you can divide the abdomen into 4 zones, the thighs into 2 zones, the butt into 2 zones and the arm into 2 zones. One zone can be used for one week, before moving on to the next zone

Rotation rules

It’s important to use large, multiple injection areas so that you don’t repeatedly inject into the same spot. If you rotate zones, there will be plenty of time for your body to heal before the next round of injections into that zone.

The end goal, of course, is for insulin to be absorbed properly and blood glucose to be as stable as possible. The right injection technique can be a big help in this regard, as it ensures you’re not developing lipohypertrophy.

This article was brought to you with unconditional scientific support by BD.

Disclaimer: The medical information on this website is not advice and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any questions about your medication, please consult your doctor.