Checking your blood sugars often is an important part of your diabetes care. Many people say that they would check more often, but their fingers are sore, or they’re worried about turning their fingers black and blue with bruising.
It can be frustrating. No one likes to deal with pain. Fortunately, there is hope. Here’s how to heal your bruised fingers faster, and even help prevent bruising in the first place.
- Use Soap and Water
When it’s time to check your BG, start by washing your hands with warm soap and water, then let your arm dangle by your side for a minute. This allows more blood to flow to your fingertips, making testing easier. While you’re doing this, rub the site you’re planning on testing with your finger to further help blood to flow there.
Although alcohol does sanitize your hands, it’s better to use mild soap and water. Alcohol can dry out your skin, especially when it’s used often, making testing more difficult.
- Get Rid of that Dull Lancet
It’s tempting to re-use a lancet, but lancets dull quickly. That leads to more bruising. Bleh.
To prevent this, use a new lancet each time. New lancets are sharper, less traumatic to use, and less likely to bruise your fingers. Carry extra lancets with you so you don’t run out.
- Test on the Sides of Your Fingers—And Change Sites Often
The tips of your fingers are filled with a huge number of nerve endings. Good for things like typing, bad for BG testing. Testing on the sides of your fingers, instead of the tips, is less painful and less likely to cause bruising.
Using the sides of your fingers also doubles the sites you can use. Since you can test on both sides of each finger, it will be longer between tests at each site. More time to heal means less bruising.
- Apply Pressure
Once you’re done testing, apply pressure to stop the blood flow. Hold a cotton ball or tissue on the site for 30 seconds. At the same time, hold your hand up higher than your heart. If you’re still bleeding, put on a small bandage.
With these guidelines, you can heal your fingers bruised from BG testing more quickly and be on your way to managing your diabetes like a pro.