7 Tips to Stop Injection Site Bruising

You can become an expert at insulin injections and avoid site bruising with these techniques which include icing, places to avoid, etc.

Integrated Diabetes Services (IDS) provides detailed advice and coaching on diabetes management from certified diabetes educators and dieticians. Insulin Nation IDS answers to questions submitted from the Type 1 diabetes community.

Q: Is it common to get bruises at the site of injection? What can you do about that?

A: There are many reasons that an injection site might develop a bruise. Try some of these techniques to decrease the chances of bruising:

    1. Ice the injection site for about 30 to 60 seconds prior to giving the injection. The cold helps to shrink the capillary blood vessels which may get punctured during a shot.
    2. If the bruising happens specifically in your abdomen, make sure you are not injecting too close to your belly button.
    3. Shorter needles tend to cause more bruising than longer needles.
    4. If you are on blood thinners like warfarin, aspirin, or Plavix, you may be more at risk for bruising. Discuss this with your healthcare provider.
    5. Make sure you are injecting at a 90-degree angle to your skin, and not on a slant.
    6. Always use a new needle or pen cap for insulin pens. Reusing needles causes more trauma to the tissue.
    7. Switch injection sites. Repeated injection into the same area can cause bruising, as well as the development of scar tissue.

Have a Question? Insulin-Quiring Minds is a free service of the clinical team at Integrated Diabetes Services LLC. Submit your questions to All questions will be answered, and yours may be chosen to appear in Insulin Nation.

About Integrated Diabetes Services

Integrated Diabetes Services provides one-on-one education and glucose regulation for people who use insulin. Diabetes “coaching” services are available in-person and remotely via phone and the Internet for children and adults. Integrated Diabetes Services offers specialized services for insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor users, athletes, pregnancy & Type 1 diabetes, and those with Type 2 diabetes who require insulin. For more information, call 1-610-642-6055, go to or write to

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Jennifer Smith holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Biology from the University of Wisconsin. She is a registered and licensed dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified trainer on most makes/models of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems. She has lived with Type 1 diabetes since she was a child,and thus has first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day events that affect diabetes management.

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