Lancets

Lancets

Of all the items which fall under the heading of diabetic supplies, lancets are the one that is seldom discussed. But having the right kind of lancet or lancet device and using it correctly can impact how comfortable diabetic testing is for you.

What Is a Lancet?

A diabetic lancet is a sterile needle embedded in a plastic tube and covered with a plastic cap. Lancets are an essential part of any diabetes tester kit and prick your finger to test your blood glucose with glucose test strips.

How to Use a Lancet

You can use a lancet on its own, but most people with diabetes prefer to use what’s commonly called a lancet device or lancer.

To use a lancet without a lancet device, simply twist off the plastic cap to expose the needle, take a breath, and prick your finger hard enough to draw a drop of blood. If that doesn’t sound like a task you’re up to, a lancing device is probably a better option.

Each device will be slightly different — and will come with its own instructions — but in general, to use a lancing device:
  • Remove the cap from the device.
  • Load a new lancet.
  • Remove the cap from the lancet and expose the needle.
  • Replace the device’s cap.
  • Cock the lancing device and touch it to the finger you wish to prick.
  • Click the button on the device to prick your finger.
  • Squeeze your finger to produce a drop of blood, and use your meter and test strip to check your glucose level.
  • Remove the cap from the device again.
  • Put the cap back on the used lancet and remove it from the device.
  • Recap the device.
You may need to adjust the depth setting on the device, which determines how deeply the needle penetrates, to strike a balance between the least discomfort and an adequate blood sample. Always dispose of used lancets either in a sharps container or a rigid plastic container with a lid.

Can I Use Any Lancet With Any Device?

While most lancets will fit most devices, they’re not universally compatible. Some lancets are round, for example, while others are square. So check that your lancets and device are compatible before you purchase.

What to Look for In a Lancet

If you have diabetes, you may need to use several lancets per day. Thin needles (28- or 30-gauge) will cause minor discomfort, but thicker needles (such as 23- or 25-gauge) may be necessary if you have rough or calloused skin.

You may need to experiment to find which works best for you. If your lancet device allows you to adjust the depth setting, this can help offset the thinness of finer needles.

With the right lancet and lancet device, diabetes can become slightly less uncomfortable. SimplyMedical offers a variety of lancet options along with other diabetic testing supplies.