Injecting at the proper depth is an important part of good injection technique. Most healthcare professionals recommend that insulin be injected in the subcutaneous fat, which is the layer of fat just below the skin.
If you inject too deep, the insulin could go into muscle, where it's absorbed faster but might not last so long (and, it hurts more when you inject into muscle).
If the injection isn't deep enough, the insulin goes into the skin, which affects the insulin's onset and duration of action.
Most people pinch up a fold of skin and insert the needle at a 90° angle to the skin fold. To pinch your skin properly, follow these steps:
Note that not everyone injects at a 90° angle. If you inject into an area of the body that has less fat, you may need to inject at less than a 45° angle, to avoid injecting into a muscle. The angle you should use to insert the syringe or pen needle into your body depends on your body type, the injection site, and the length of the needle that you use. Your healthcare professional can help you determine the right angle of injection for you.
Remove Bubbles from Your Syringe
Bubbles in your insulin syringe won't harm you if they're injected into your body, but because they're taking up space in the syringe, they'll keep you from getting your entire insulin dose, and that can make it more difficult for you to stay in your target blood sugar range.
There are different ways to avoid bubbles, so ask your healthcare provider to recommend one. Here are two suggestions:
Don't forget to push the extra insulin back into the vial - even if there are no air bubbles in the syringe - or you'll get an overdose of insulin.
If you mix clear and cloudy insulin, you can only remove bubbles from the clear insulin, which is drawn first. You can't remove bubbles after both insulins are in the syringe, because when you push insulin back into the bottle of cloudy insulin, you may be pushing clear insulin into the cloudy bottle. This would cause two problems:
Injecting Another Person
The process of injecting insulin into another person isn't much different from injecting yourself.
Training and proper technique are important, and it gets easier with practice.
Family members and friends of people with diabetes who help with injections should: