June 26, 2001
Question from Lindenhurst, New York, USA:
My three year old son has type�1 diabetes, diagnosed about 15 months ago, and I have recently noticed that the biceps area on both his arms seems to be caving in (it’s indented). What can I do to stop this from progressing? Is this a normal side effect for people with diabetes? Does this create any serious danger to him?
The problem you describe sounds like lipoatrophy, a condition in which the fatty layer in the skin at the injection sites has been absorbed. It is unusual to see nowadays because of the highly purified insulins we use. However, it can occur. It suggests that the same site is being used too frequently. You should avoid using the biceps site for some time, until the fatty layer recovers. More importantly, make sure that you use as many different sites as possible to avoid the same problem occurring in other areas.