If you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes, you may be wondering how bad does a finger prick hurt? You might also be looking for the best diabetes finger prick tips to reduce the pain. There is such a thing as painless finger pricking, believe it or not. Let us explain.
Finger prick pain is one of the most common sources of apprehension among people who need to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly. DigiVibe recognizes that this part of blood sugar monitoring can cause discomfort and anxiety for many people. While there’s no substitute for the finger prick in most cases, there are some simple pricking finger tips you can try to help keep pain to a minimum.
Here are 10 tips for painless finger pricking
1. Use vibrating technology.
DigiVibe acknowledges that the finger prick can be very stressful for many people monitoring their blood sugar levels. Our product has been designed to vibrate in order to block pain signals to the brain within 12 seconds and ultimately reduce pain and anxiety around this process.
2. Test on the sides of your fingers.
The beds of your fingers have the most nerve endings, and therefore will experience the most pain if you test there. Instead, try testing on the sides of your fingertips. There are fewer nerve endings here, which helps make this area less sensitive to finger prick pain. Blood glucose testing is just as accurate on the sides of your fingertips as the middle. The DigiVibe device can be used on any finger.
3. Keep track of your test sites.
It can be hard to remember exactly where you tested last or recall areas where you test the most frequently. It may be helpful to create a visual log or “hand map” of these sites. For example, trace your hands onto a piece of paper and make dots to mark where you’ve tested during the week. This can help make sure you’re regularly rotating. You can also make note of more painful areas that you may need to avoid.
4. Rotate your testing sites.
Many people have “favorite” fingers and areas to use for testing. Ideally, try to use all ten of your fingers and rotate your test sites regularly. Testing in the same places can lead to inflammation and development of calluses, and it may form scars and become painful areas. This may also mean using alternative testing sites. Depending on the glucose meter you use, you may be able to test in other areas than your fingers, such as your forearm or palm sometimes.
5. Don’t use alcohol swabs to clean fingers.
Keeping your fingertips and all of your equipment clean and sterile is essential and should never be compromised. However, alcohol can dry out your skin and increase its sensitivity to pain. Instead, use soap and water to thoroughly clean your hands and fingers before testing. This method is just as effective at removing germs from your skin. Still, if you do use alcohol swabs sometimes, there are some that are made to help numb the area and may be helpful to keep in your rotation.
6. Choose a finer gauge needle.
The higher gauge of the lancet, the thinner the needle, and the less pain it will cause on your finger. But, this can vary. Sometimes a 30 gauge needle is less painful than a 33 gauge needle, although the 30 is slightly bigger. The reason is the 33 might need to go deeper into some fingers. Both the 30 and 33 fit into the DigiVibe lancing device, so you can try which feels most comfortable.
7. Never reuse your needles.
While it can be easy to fall into the habit of reusing the same lancets, this can lead to dullness of the needle, which increases pain. Lancets have a special coating to help make them less painful for you. The coating is only intended for single-use and is removed by alcohol wipes. Plus, reusing needles can increase your risk for infection.
8. Warm up your hands first.
Warm hands and fingers will promote blood flow and reduce pain in the area. It will also bring blood to the surface and make it easier to test. You could use warm water when washing your hands before testing, or try other means of warming up, like rubbing your hands together to create friction.
9. Don’t squeeze your fingertips.
As tempting as it can be to squeeze blood from your fingers to get your reading faster, this can lead to bruising and swelling, increasing pain from those testing sites. Instead, try hanging your hand down for a few seconds after testing and let gravity aid you.
Figuring out what works best for you to minimize finger prick pain can take some trial and error. Your “hand map” can be helpful as you try new testing sites and determine where to prick and avoid. Trying some of these other tips will also help you narrow down best practices for you.
So, does a finger prick blood test hurt? Maybe, but we believe it doesn’t have to. While the finger prick is necessary, that doesn’t mean a high level of pain and anxiety should be. Try some of the tips above to help minimize pain when testing.
Plus, DigiVibe was designed to help reduce pain even further using innovative vibration technology. Grab yours today.