At Valley Rain Medical, we're constantly looking for ways to improve life for diabetics.
That's why we broke down a recent article we read from Everyday Health on reducing finger prick pain to our five favorite tips.
The first tip is something most of us know, but it still bears repeating:
Pricking yourself in the middle of your finger tip is definitely painful! According to the article:
“When testing on your finger, use only the sides of your finger, where there’s better blood flow, and not the pad of the finger," said certified diabetes educator Hector Verastigui, RN, clinical research coordinator at the Texas Diabetes Institute in San Antonio. "Testing on the pad of the finger is more painful.”
Here's another good tip...
Makes sense, right?
When your hands are cold, the blood doesn't flow as well. Warm them up by rubbing them together, running them under warm water, or sitting on them.
The easier you make it for the blood to flow, the less chance you have to prick yourself more than once, and the less pain you'll experience.
The article points out, "If blood sugar testing is always painful, it’s possible that your lancet is set to hit too hard or too deeply. Learn how to adjust the depth and force as part of managing diabetes. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to do this or which depth will get you the least painful blood testing experience with the most accurate blood sugar monitoring result, work with a diabetes educator or the nurse in your doctor’s office."
That's sound advice. You definitely don't want to be pricking yourself deeper than you need to. And here's something we hadn't thought of:
"If you’re particularly sensitive, using a pediatric lancet could lead to diabetes pain relief."
Now this next tip surprised us...
Turns out the best idea is just to wash your hands with warm water and soap before testing.
“We don’t recommend wiping the skin with alcohol because alcohol is an astringent, which tightens the skin and makes obtaining a blood sample more difficult,” said Verastigui. And that makes diabetes blood sugar testing more painful.
And finally, here's an area where many people try to cut corners...and pay the price.
Different lancets have different thicknesses...it's called the gauge of the lancet. (If you read the product descriptions on the lancets in our store, you'll see that their gauges vary...the higher the number, the thinner the lancet.)
So the thing is that lancets start out nice and sharp. But if you use them multiple times they get duller each time, which increases the pain of the poke.
As the article advises, "Try changing the lancet with every blood sugar testing to see whether that reduces this diabetes pain. Little changes do matter — a survey of adult African-American women published in the Journal of the National Medical Association revealed that pain from blood sugar testing definitely affects their strategies for managing diabetes, so it makes sense to do everything you can to reduce pain and stay on track."
Need fresh lancets? Shop our lancet store!
We hope this article gives you some fresh ideas for reducing finger prick pain when testing your blood glucose! You can find all our discount diabetic testing supplies in our Valley Rain store.
Thanks for reading!
To read all eight tips in Everyday Health's article on reducing finger prick pain, click here.