Injection Sites

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Insulin injection - injection sites

Where to inject?

Which area you choose to inject into depends on various factors. The most important ones are: The site you use needs to be healthy and in good condition. Enough fatty tissue is another aspect which should be considered. Finally, the accessibility of the area plays a role.

Preferred areas and their absorption rates

Generally, the abdomen, thighs and buttocks are the most common sites(15): They can be reached easily and the fat layer here is rather thick. You have to find out yourself which area you prefer.

Please keep the following in mind:

  1. The fattier the injection site, the less likely you are to hit the muscle.
  2. Especially if you inject yourself, it is central that you can reach the injection site easily.
  3. The absorption rate has to be considered; insulin type and injection area should be compatible.

The pictures below show you the relation between different insulin types and the injection areas.(7, 8, 9)

Insulin types and injection areas

Note: The upper arm is not recommended to use. This injection area is rather difficult to work with. Especially, since you would need a second person for the pinch up.

Furthermore, make sure that you avoid:

  • lipos and scars
  • moles and skin blemishes
  • broken blood vessels.(3)

If you injected into the above-mentioned spots, the insulin would be absorbed irregularly.(3) Therefore, frequently checking for lipos is always sensible. If you detect any anomalies, please avoid them and contact your physician. 

Tips: injection sites

✔ Always inject into normal, healthy skin.

✔ Keep an eye on the absorption rate.

✔ Find out which injection areas are the best for you

✔ Consider the insulin you are using as well as absorption rates.



3. Frid A. et al., New Insulin Delivery Recommendations, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, September 2016; 90(9):1231-1255.
7. Bantle J. P. et al., Effects of the anatomical region used for injectable therapy injections on glycaemia in type 1 diabetes subjects. Diabetes Care 1993;16:1592-1597.
8. Frid A. et al., Clinically important differences in injectable therapy absorption from the abdomen in IDDM. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 1993;21:137-141.
9. Henriksen J. E. et al., Impact of injection sites for soluble injectable therapy on glycaemic control in type 1 (injectable therapy-dependent) diabetic people with diabetes treated with a multiple injectable therapy injection regimen, Diabetologia 1993;36:752-758.
15. Hirsch L. et al., Intramuscular Risk at insulin Injection Sites-Measurement of the Distance from Skin to Muscle and Rationale for Shorter-Length Needles for Subcutaneous Insulin Therapy, Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, December 2014;16(12):867-873.

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