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What are diabetic lancets?

Lancets allow you to take a sample of blood with minimal discomfort and optimal discretion. The spring-loaded device contains a needle or lancet, a way to select how deep the needle goes, and a release button. You’ll want to use the shallowest poke possible to draw blood. This hurts less and causes less scarring on your fingers.

Lancets are sterile the first time only, so don’t share lancets or lancing devices. Lancets can become dull after multiple uses, making future fingersticks more painful, so change them when needed to fit your comfort level.

Many blood glucose meters come with lancing devices. However, there are quite a few lancets on the market, so shop around if you don’t like the one that came with your meter or if you want more than one. Some allow you to prick sites other than your fingers. Others are designed for people who have trouble drawing blood or who have sensitive or calloused skin. Still others have retractable needles or easy disposal systems. Different lancets produce different sizes of blood drops. Make sure the device you are considering will help you get a drop of blood that is large enough for your meter.

Not all lancets fit all devices, so do your homework. Make sure that you can easily get replacement lancets to fit your device. Check the prices for replacement lancets as you compare devices.

Diabetic lancets are used to puncture the skin to get a blood sample that you test to determine how much glucose is in your blood. They are usually made of sharp steel encased in hard plastic and come in various gauges. A higher gauge produces a smaller puncture and may be less painful. With some lancets you prick yourself, but others are spring-loaded and pierce your skin without any help from you. Once your skin is punctured, you gently kneed the area to coax a drop of blood to the surface.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.