July 11, 2008, Newsletter Issue #162: Lipodystrophy

Tip of the Week

For those with diabetes, there are many potential complications. One of the most common complications is lipodystrophy, a condition that creates divots in the fat layer, making the area feel lumpy.

Lipodystrophy can occur when insulin is repeatedly injected into the subcutaneous tissue -- the third layers of skin, which contains fat and connective tissue that houses larger blood vessels and nerves. When the body pulls the insulin from the fatty tissue, the result is fatty atrophy - or shrinking of the fat tissue - at the injection site. This causes lipodystrophy, or divots in the skin. This is not reversible and the best treatment for this common complication is prevention.

The best way to avoid this potential complication of insulin injection is to routinely rotate your injection sites. Your Diabetes Educator, physician, or other healthcare provider can give you a reference chart, to help you effectively rotate your sites. This information is also available from the American Diabetes Association.

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