sub cut site


My apologies in advance if this is a stupid question to ask. I was just wondering if the heat can affect a subcut site? My stomach is red and itchy but I only resited 2 days ago (that side of stomach normally lasts about 5 days) Apart from changing site again I was wondering if there was anything else I could do? Stomach is a bit sore and I am running out of places to site due to red blotches and bruises. Itchyness is driving me mad! or madder!!!

Best get back to revision


steph x

32 Replies

  • Itchy and red can be a sign of infected site but also can be a reaction to the dressings? what dressings and stes are you using?

    Plus sites shouldnt be left for more than 3 days!! should rotae before get red not once do. Plenty of other sites tops of arm? thighs, love handels, shoulder blades?

    Funny you running out of sites so quick after starting it? which makes think its dressings? what dose you on?

    Andrea xx

  • i know that u should re-site every 3 days but I often leave mine up to 5 days which doesn't seem to cause redness or infection. However I would re-site straight away if the above happened.

    DD as andrea says it could be the dressings that you are reacting to. Is this something that has only just happened or has it been a problem since you started on s/c?


  • Hi Steph,

    sorry your having problems with your sites. As Rusty & Andrea have said it could be the tape or an infection that causes the redness & itching.

    Try a cooling ice pack (Froz peas or ice pops are good) on the old sites to sooth it a bit. Is it oozing or warm & hard to touch? (Yuck I know) then it could be an infection ( cellulitis sort of thing)

    Try some different sticky stuff. Opsite, tegaderm etc look similar but the adhesives can be different. Also Mefix / hypafix , a soft woven type is good, Transpore, Durapore etc etc etc or even some of the very thin bed sore dressings are good.

    Also try other areas to stick the needles in - tops of legs, arms, upper chest (Oh No not the boobs again LOL!)

    Try the old s/c thread for loads more tips & hints or PM me.

    What needles are you using?

    Hope this helps a wee bit




  • Hi there,

    I sometimes find that when it is hot I get all sweaty and the dressings keep the sweat in so I get itchy - like a sweat rash - under the dressing. As the others have said try other sites. I would disagree with the 3 days rule though- depends on your consultant but I have been told I can leave them in as long as they are working and not sore/red - remove and resite as soon as any signs of a problem - which is what we do at work too. My sof sets can last up to a month (just as well considering how stroppy the ward are at funding them)


  • Yes the sites can be affected by heat and how you are feeling. Sometimes I seem to be forever bunging in new sofsets almost daily other times they last 3 or 4 days. If the area is red and sore a few hours after removing then it might be an infection see your GP.


  • Hey Steph has Rob mentioned bricanyl breaks? im sure as he does them every 5 weeks or so we will meeet very soon for one?

    Andrea xx

  • Hi

    Thanks for the advice. I went to out of hours gp last night as I couldnt stand it any longer. I have been given antibiotics as stomach is infected. Might also explain why I have a temperature.

    I have never been told that I should resite every 3 days but was told to leave it until it started to get uncomfortable. Andrea - Rob hasn't mentioned bricanyl break, what does that involve? My local costa have been asking me what dates i am free though after my exams.

    Thanks for advice

    steph x

  • Thats Robs problem will the royal they stick these things up then dont follow them up!! Not all places do breaks but Robs theory and it works with me is that after a few weeks you grow tollerent and therefore its less effective so roughly 5 to 6 weeks so can go much longer he takes you in and removes the bricanyl but obviously you need something so you have iv aminophylinne cover.

    Andrea xx

  • Hi Steph,

    Glad you have got some anti Bs. I forgot about the warm sweaty weather & swet rashes etc. I used to have breaks but usually when all s/c sites were knackered! and then it was IV ventolin at home with a CADD pump.

    Owl - that MUST be a record for a sof-set! I usually don't change sites unless they get sore, leak or fall out! My record is 10 days with a sof set I think!

    Take care all



  • Never had a proper infected site before, and now mentioned todays has gone horrid and has lots puts coming out :( am already on top whack fluclox for ulcer on toe so not worth bothering doc just dressed with antibiotic dressing n see how goes?

    Andrea xx

  • Andrea - Hope site gets better soon and you are ok. My saga continues lol. Went to gp on friday and they suggested using a butterfly as apparently this is all an allergic reaction to sof sets. She wanted me to use a butterfly but didn't have any long enough and couldn't prescribe them. so decided was best to resite away from stomach but wasn't sure where so rang costa. They said they would get back to her so me and my friend tottled off home betting as to who would ring me, gp or costa. Phone rings and it was asthma nurse at costa, I have only met her twice as usual one is in arran on holiday, it is alright for some isnt it? She said it is a reaction to the bricanyl so I need to stop it for a bit until skin heels. If peak flow drops just up pred or go to a and e. I didnt like the sound of this as when it was stopped on thursday for an hour i ended up needing nebs and my sister is staying this weekend (who is freaked out by whole thing and hates me being ill) and i want to enjoy myself with her plus i have exams this week. I have already missed 2 due to being in costa and dont intend to miss any more. She went away and spoke to con who said to take antib's for 36 hours then review, if stomach is healing then I can carry on until i talk to my asthma nurse on tuesday. This is what I have done but I wonder what the next plan is?

    Thankyou all so much for your support, my parents have gone away this weekend as it is dad's 60th birthday today and I don't know what I would do without you.



    steph xxx

  • dont worry bout me an infected site is nothing compared to the stae of my toes!! a bit better today with dressings.

    So Steph have you still got it or not? am a bit confused?

    I use butterflys as new ones local got are fab just like a cannuka a plastic tube not like old ones that left metal in. They can last me a week where as soft sets only last me a day? think coz to fat for em?

    Staph best person to cal is shirley Robs asthma nurse as shes well up on sub cuts.

    Andrea xxx

  • DD, GPs can't prescibe butterflys you need to contact your district nurse or asthma nurse.


  • wheezyab is it the intima ones you use? I had them for a while (they are much cheaper than sof sets) but they last less than 12 hours in me - just shows that each person is different doesn't it?

    Hope you are managing to keep on the bricanyl DD - it would be a real shame if you were reacting to it, but there are so many things it could be a reaction to (sof set, tape, drug...) that it is probably worth trying different things as long as you can. Prof says that lots of people get wee nodules with the terbutaline - they look like they are infected but have eosinophils in, and eventually go away - he reckons they are harmless and just change the site when it gets red. I am lucky that he has been doing this so long (he was one of the first in the UK when he was at heartlands) that he has seen all the problems before - it makes a change not to be the difficult patient that nobody knows what to do wiht!

    Yes Kate, a month is probably a record - I guess being a medic I am pretty laid back about these things - we are always more laid back than the nurses!

  • Cheeky Sarah, us nurses are laid back too"""" he he

    yep tere the ones i use, weird aint it that we are the complete other way around? i think the soft stes with me is dafo a size think, maybe if got longer ones would last longer?

    Andrea xxx

  • Hey Andrea, you know that nurses are much more up on infection control and pulling out lines than medics are - if it looks ok it stays in my book, none of this venflon been in 3days has to come out! I think sof-sets do come with extra long subcut bit, but I guess if the cheaper ones work for you all the better, cos then you don't have to argue to get the expensive ones.

  • Thank Sarah, im funny with venflons, although rare for one in me to last longer than 12hrs!! i wont leave longer than 3 days, as last yr nearly lost my arm to MRSA infected site that within 3 hrs went from a lttle bit red and sore to me septic? not nice!! Caroline just messaged me about sillouettes from same company are loneger. so emialed them see if can get some to try first, then asthma nurse will get as they already get soft sets from that company?

    thanks again

    Andrea xxx

  • Andrea, silouettes are more expensive, even down here where they are great about sof-sets I can't get the silouettes. Pity as I am going through sof-sets at one hell of a rate (18-24 hrs each) now the weather has warmed up it has to be more cost effective in the long term but getting the PTC to see that is hard.


  • No one has argued over cost of silohettes compared to sof sets. You may find it easier now as we are all one PCT as all the areas have merged and with the tax year starting might be a good time to ask. I didnt think they were more exspensive as I did buy a couple of boxes my self in the past. They are listed in the NHS order book thingy whatever it is called, so have got them easier than a lot of stuff I need.

    I orginally went on them as you can bung them off like a intama.

  • Blooming PCT they dont half make our life hell???????

    Ive emailed amt for some samples to try and at mo i get my sets from lung centre so will have to sweet talk them? Bex your lucky a day is my limit with soft sets!! i now only use ifother blocks or comes out while mums at work, but lately been brave and put butterflys in myself!! wimp i am!! says she that injects insulin 4 xs a day no probs!!!

    Speedy i loik that idea of bunging off!! i even saw a subcut port on their site that last upto 5 days? save injecting insulin through skin 4 xs day would have one needle every 5 days!! wow!!!!

    Andrea xxx

  • Let's not talk about pct and funding. I have a gp that is refusing to prescribe me bricanyl for the sub cut claiming that he is under no obligation to because it is not this pct fundng it. (I am at uni in birmingham and sub cut is funded via home pct). Stomach is looking better and I have been changing site every few days. I have to ring costa again today to decide what to do next.

    steph x

  • Do I get the award for the most silly place to under-take a re-site. I had to take Maddie back to school at the ungoddly hour of 7.30 this morning. She boards but they had had the Bank Holiday weekend off and boarding we only re-opening this morning instead of Monday night like normal. I got into a horrendous queue of traffic on the way home and my site was killing me. I had a quick look and it was red and sore. So I put the car into park and proceeded to resite there and then. I have been having a needle phobic phase recently (I think due to the trauma of C lines and 100 attempts at venflons) however the site was so sore there was no way I was carrying on till home when I could get someone else to site for me. Plus side it cured my phobia, minus side I suspect it was not legal, plus side the traffic did not move the entire time.


    ps do not try this at home :)

  • Bex your mad but as they say needs must!!!!!!

    Those peeps at AMT are fab, the chron has really made may life so much easier, i only emailed them yest after speedy told me about there siloutte sets, so cheeky me emailed for some samples!! got lovely email last nite from md, and nice package off postman this am with 3 sets in!!! cant wait for current set to bloke so can use, and more so hope that asthma nurse will gte me them instead of soft sets!!

    Andrea xxx

  • Hi there,

    I have some silouettes which I bought when I couldn't get anything from the ward (despite them having agreed to fund sofsets), but usually use sofsets. The silouettes are good especially further up the tummy (above the waist) where sofsets seem not to do as well, but they still don't seem to last as well as sofsets for me - I think because there is less sticky stuff they fall out more easily, and whereas with the sofset I can add tegaderm if I need to, you can't do that so easily with the silouettes.

    As we have said, everyone finds different things work for them.

    I also noticed that AMT were doing disconnectable ones that look like sofsets but disconnect like silouettes - has anyone tried them?


  • I am going to present my red tummy to the Asthma nurse at torbay tomorrow I am changing sof-set every 12-24 hours but with the arrival of warm weather I am having dreadful trouble with re-acting to the tapes (both kinds they package) its only a re-action to the tape I am sure as it starts around the edge and works its way in. It happened last summer but this time seems to be worse for some reason. My thighs are stretch mark city and I have skinny arms I am need to at least give my stomach a break, failing persuading her that it will be more cost effective in the long run I will see if I can buy some silouettes just to give the old tum a rest for a week or 2. Silouettes I can get into my arm and upper chest without any problem but I just don't seem to have fat up there for sof-sets.


  • Owl - there are sofsets that are disconectanble - the ya re called QR. You diosconetc it and oit leaves a short tail. Theya re very good.

    With the silouettes I quite often ad a bit of extrta tape on top. You can cut a neat hole in a wide bit of tape and pop it on when dosconected.

    Bex - have you tried other tapes? use the opsite for a template - Mefix is quite good!

    Lungs having a wweee splat tonight! Back on s/c after 3 silly nebs! Feel bit better but heart doing its nut... just waiting for the funky chucks to join in now!



  • Kate, mefix. tagaderm, cavlon the lot. I am apparently a very allergic person according to RASts, skin tests and the RBH who regard my results as on the freaky wierd end of high, although I know many here suffer far worse symptoms wheeze, sneeze wise as a result of their allergies, I don't even posess or need an epi-pen. However my skin once it decides it does not like something is dreadfully sensitive. I feel I just need to give it a break as the redness usually is about the size of a saucer around the site. It goes down after 24 hours but then you wack in another sof-set and it goes mad again. I have tried using 4 sites in quarters on one side and then switching to the other but it just flares up again as the longest it gets to ""rest"" is about 72 hours. I just want to break the cycle for a week or 3.


  • Cavilon spray can also help if you spray it on before putting dressing on as it puts a layer to protect the skin.

  • Woohoo sucess after seeing my poor red tummy they are going to order me some silouettes so I can give my tum a rest. Thank goodness for that!


  • Go GO Bex!!!

    If you email amt they will send you some, i emailed and got 3 to try nextday? will prob be tues now but may be quicker than through dns to start with?

    Andrea xx

    PS i like em been in belly 4 days now and no probs thats a record for me!!!

  • Glad you got your poor tum seen to Bex.

    Sillouettes are fantastic - I hardly notice them and you can cap them off right at the needle point more or less and you can cap off the loose tubing too!

    Have stopped my s/c for a few hours as was feeling a bit better lung wise but crappy in general - heart was doing its nut! Will see how I go ......


  • I have used silouettes before. asthma nurse said she would order them right away and AMT are very good so I am expecting them on Monday. I can hold out until then so long as a re-site as soon as they hurt.


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