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Insulin Pumps May Cause Skin Problems

Children and teens with type 1 diabetes who have been using insulin pumps to control their diabetes develop dermatologic complications at the infusion catheter site, according to researchers from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

The researchers surveyed 50 patients with type 1 diabetes who had used insulin pumps for longer than six months. It was found that a vast majority (94 percent) of patients experience scars smaller than three millimeters in diameter, two-thirds had swelling, just under two thirds had lesions under the skin, and 42 percent had fat lumps under the skin.

It was also found that the thinner the patient, the higher the chances of getting dermatologic complications with the insulin pump. However, there was no relationship between long-term blood sugar control and risk of skin problems.

Even with the reported incidences of skin problems, only a few parents (four percent) and patients (2.4 percent) said they would consider stopping insulin pump therapy because of the associated skin problems.

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