Injecting in the Hands – Tips for Taking Care
REMEMBER; Black Poppy DOES NOT advocate the hands or fingers as a reasonable place for injecting but we recognise it is the most common site for people to use after the forearm. ROTATION of sites is the key to longer lasting veins, so try not to overdo one place, just because it might be the quickest point of access for a while… ROTATE, ROTATE, ROTATE!
OK, so there are many who’ve been shooting up in the hands, fingers and wrist for quite a while – after all, it is the place many of us go when our arms have finally given up. While all the literature tells us ”just say no’ – the reality is that many injectors said yes to using their hands long ago. If you do shoot here, remember the important issues.
Your hands are full of extremely shallow and delicate veins and arteries that are inside every finger and thumb as well as the hand and wrist and a massive collection of nerves that could cause severe problems for you if damaged.
Scarring on the hand area appears to be more likely for women than men but injecting here is still a very risky and often painful business yet one that is almost as common as a using site as the forearm.
Never leave rings or slim fitting brace lets/bangles on while injecting in this area. If a ring is left on and you accidentally hit an artery your hand and inject into it, it will swell up rapidly and you may be unable to get your jewellery off in time. Your ring or bracelet can then stop all blood flow causing tissues to ‘die’ – what we know as gangrene. Just missing your gear will cause your hand/finger etc to swell, and a ring or bangle that obstructs any blood flow can still cause gangrene. So take your jewellery OFF if you must do your shooting in the hands. It only takes a minute and if you’ve ever seen how fast someone’s hand can swell after hitting an artery, you’ll understand why it’s a lot safer to just take your rings off first.
Always use a spike that is thinner in diameter (gauge) than the vein you are using. In
women and many men this often means sticking with a one ml insulin syringe for practically all hand veins. Exchange Supplies has some excellent information about the size and gauge (width) and bore of needles (click here) and there are loads more sizes than you think, which are well worth talking to your needle exchange about stocking.
Inject much more SLOWLY in the hand area and check out a venous chart to get to know your hands well from the inside.
The hands are the place where an enormous amount of germs congregate and this particularly goes for between the fingers. These small places are often missed when washing hands so be sure that you don’t forget to give them a good clean before thinking about injecting in your hands or, more dangerously, the fingers.
Long term injecting in the hands leaves circulation to the hands hampered and you can suffer terribly from cold hands. Keep them warm, moisturised with a good hand cream and if you can, use a cream for healing scars. There is a really excellent one called Huirodoid which is specifically for injecting/thrombosis issues, healing the vein area itself from the inside first and we can honestly vouch for it working really effectively. Calendula is also a terrific natural cream that also works well, for healing scars and inflamed sites. There are also special camouflage creams that (mostly) are prescribed by doctors, and are fantastic to help cover track marks; it’s all about getting the right tone in your camouflage cream, and needs to be chosen correctly to cover where it is either red or blue discolouration (for example) that you are trying to hide.
Be sure not to use anything other than a one ml insulin syringe. Be gentle, go slowly, not over knuckles, and don’t go deep or you could hit an artery. Keep your syringe at approx a 45 degree angle and don’t poke around. There is more than one artery in every finger. There are also a lot of nerves too. We have known people to do permanent damage to their hands from hitting nerves, especially when using a larger spike, so best keep it to a 1ml insulin sized needle.
Not only this but the hand is one seriously obvious place to have your track marks shown off to the world.
REMEMBER; Black Poppy DOES NOT advocate the hands or fingers as a reasonable place for injecting but we recognise it is the most common site for people to use after the forearm. ROTATION of sites is the key to longer lasting veins, so try not to overdo one place, just because it might be the quickest point of access for a while… ROTATE, ROTATE, ROTATE!!
Needle sizes and shapes
It really is worth finding out more about the huge variety of sizes and shapes of needles – especcially regarding the gauges. The gauges used for injecting range from 30G (the finest and most flexible) to 21G (the thickest and least flexible commonly used gauge). The different gauges are allocated a colour so that people can tell the difference more easily.
The needle gauge colour code works as follows:
* yellow – 30g (thinnest
* grey – 27g
* brown – 26g
* orange – 25g
* blue – 23g
* black – 22g
* green – 21g (thickest).
To read more about this, and find out what syringes are best for the job you need, click here to Exchange Supplies’s website. You can order syringes by the large box, and learn what’s what to encourage your local needle exchange to buy in what you and your mates need.
BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT YOU INJECT HERE…IF YOU DAMAGE YOUR HANDS NERVES, OR THEY GET INFECTED BY A SERIOUS ABSCESS, OR GET INFECTED BY OTHER BACTERIUM, YOU COULD BE IN BIG TROUBLE AND DAMAGE YOUR HANDS FOREVER. gO SLOW, BE CAREFUL AND BE FUSSY ABOUT HYGIENE, NEEDLE SIZES, AND WHAT YOU INJECT.