Objectives: Insulin therapy is associated with skin-related complications, such as lipoatrophy, lipohypertrophy (LH), edema, and allergy. Lipohypertrophy (LH) is the most common cutaneous complication of injectable insulin therapy in the treatment of diabetes. Our aim in this study was to evaluate skin-related complications in diabetic patients receiving insulin therapy.

Methods: In this study, diabetic patients who were treated with insulin therapy in Endocrinology Department between 2015 and 2018 were evaluated. Observation and palpation technique was used in the evaluation of lipohypertrophy in diabetic subjects. The degree of lipohypertrophy was classified as follows: grade 0 = no change; grade 1 = visible hypertrophy of fat tissue but with normal consistency on palpation; grade 2 = intensive fat tissue thickening but with firm consistency; and grade 3 = lipoatrophy

Results: A total of 204 diabetic participants (52, 5 % female) were evaluated. The number of patients using insulin for more than 10 years was 81 (39,7%). The 4-mm needle was used more commonly in the study (54, 4 %). The recommended injection sites are the abdomen, thigh, arm and buttocks. Overall, 55, 9 % of patients were injecting insulin in the area of abdomen and 40, 2 % were injecting insulin four times per day. The ratio of the patients who do not change needle tip for each injection was 43,6%. In addition, lipohypertrophy was seen in 61, 8 % of the 204 diabetics in the study and most patients were revealed to have grade 1 (35,3%). Lipoatrophy was seen in 5.6% of the patients. Of the cases diagnosed as lipohypertrophy, 56, 3 % were women and 43,7% were men. Females were significantly more likely to have LH than males were (P = 0.042).

Conclusions: Increased prevelance of lipohypertrophy is an important complication of insulin therapy and clinicians must be aware of this complication.


B. Aydin Buyruk: None. N. Kebapci: None. G. Yorulmaz: None. E. Alaguney: None. A. Akalin: None. B. Efe: None.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at http://www.diabetesjournals.org/content/license.