Many Diabetics who need to check their blood glucose levels have callouses on their fingertips from multiple needle finger pricks. Doing fingertip needle pricks for a tiny sample of blood is actually not the correct way in obtaining the blood sample for several reasons. Diabetics should do the needle prick only on the sides of the tip of the fingers. They should never obtain blood samples from the thumb or pinky. Furthermore, they should always rotate from side to side and from finger to finger giving time for healing. Rotating helps each finger from being pricked for blood samples at least every three or four days depending on how frequently testing is done.
Preventing Callouses on the Fingertips. By pricking the finger on the sides of the fingertips it helps to prevent callouses and therefore helps to prevent the loss in sense of touch. The sides of the fingertips have more blood flow than the tips of fingers. Additionally, after callouses develop it becomes more difficult in obtaining a blood sample from the tips of fingers and at times requiring more than one needle prick to get the blood for the blood glucose test.
Sometimes when diabetics are in a hurry to get a blood sample for their blood glucose test they do not keep in mind that saving their fingers is important. They are only thinking of the now. Finger care in diabetics is just as important as it is in protecting their feet.
Moreover, when keeping the finger sticking to the sides of the finger the smallest gauge needles available work perfectly and are less painful. Some diabetics do not realize there are smaller gauge needles available or they believe they need the larger gauge needles to get the needle through the thick callouses. By only using the sides of the finger for sticking a pediatric gauge sized needle is needed, which is a 28 gauge needle. Finally, there is no need to milk or squeeze the finger vigorously prior and while doing the finger stick.
Urine Glucose Testing Strips is an Alternative. Diabetics who have thick, rough callouses on their fingertips may consider asking their doctor for urine glucose testing strips to give their fingers a chance to heal. Urine glucose testing is more accurate than blood glucose testing and is also cheaper. Many diabetics today have never heard of urine glucose testing strips because it involves the inconvenience of using the bathroom. Many years ago, urine glucose testing was the norm.
Conclusion. While doing a needle finger prick to the side of the finger take care not to put needle too close to the fingernail bed as this can be quite painful. Doing all needle finger pricks to the side of the fingers will help to prevent callousing as well as preventing any loss in the sense of touch to the fingertips. It will also prevent needless multiple finger sticks for just one blood glucose test. Plus, urine glucose testing strips is a viable option in giving your fingertips a rest.