Injecting insulin

Insulin is injected into your fatty tissue. The body areas that can be used for injections are shown in the picture below:

Chart showing viable insulin injection sites
  • Abdomen (stomach)

    • The insulin gets into the blood stream faster than other areas. 
    • Stay two inches away from the belly button.
    • Can inject above or below the waist.
  • Arms 

    • Measure one hand width down from the shoulder and one hand width up from the elbow.
    • Inject into the fleshy, outer surface
  • Legs

    • Measure one hand width down from the groin and one hand width up from the knee.
    • Inject into the top and outer part of the leg.
    • Do not inject into inner thigh.
  • Buttocks

    • Inject into upper, outer area of the buttocks.


  • Do not inject into scars, bruises, or sores.
  • Choose one area of the body to inject insulin and stay with that area.
  • Rotate injection sites within the chosen area.

Giving injections

  1. Wipe the injection site with alcohol or soap and water.                                                                                                                                 
  2. Hold the syringe straight up and down and push the needle into the injection site at a 90-degree angle. Be sure the needle is all the way in your body.
  3. Push down the plunger at a steady rate until the syringe is empty.                                                                                                                         
  4. Pull the needle out of your body. 
  • Call your local Waste Department to learn how to safely dispose of your syringes.

  • Keep all needles out of reach of children.

Last reviewed: 
June 2017

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