In the last 5-10 years, I’ve noticed an increase in skin sensitivity (things like most adhesives, strong soaps, hot water–even hot tubs). I didn’t think about it much - my motto was “it is what it is”!
Then a few months after my T1 Dx in 2015, I knew I wanted to start using a Continuous Glucose Monitor. Honestly, I put off getting one because I knew that adhesives didn’t like my skin! So I read everything I could about sensor adhesive irritation/ allergies and and strategies other diabetics shared about how to mitigate the problems.
Here is the process I decided to used when I got my DEX G5. I’ve used this with every sensor so far. I typically get 20-25 days per sensor with little to no irritation:
Clean skin where sensor will be placed AND let dry completely.
* My preferred sensor locations - back of upper arm or calf.
Before removing the shiny, slick backing from a Hydrocolloid Adhesive Pad, place the DEX sensor adhesive to top (non-adhesive side).
Millz Tip –
* There are many brands of Hydrocolloid Adhesive Pads available (Band-Aid Tough Pads work best for me)
* Different brands can have different adhesive chemical compositions.
* Buy a few different brands/ types and test drive them first, without a sensor. Better to find out without wasting a sensor.
* Try them out in the same location you expect to place the sensor. See if how your skin handles them and pick the one that suits you best.
* The DEX sensor fits well ones that are 2.8 x 2.4 inches and I buy them in bulk on Amazon.
* Press the sensor adhesive firmly to ensure it’s secured well and evenly to the adhesive pad.
- Millz Tip –
Remove the plastic backing form the adhesive pad with sensor attached and place on skin, press firmly and evenly into place.
Follow regular sensor insertion steps.
- For me, the sensor punches through the adhesive pad very easily.
Cover adhesive pad/sensor adhesive with Transparent film dressing, press firmly and evenly in place.
- I use Tegaderm Film, 6 cm x 7 cm size – and need 2 of these.
- The same Millz Tip listed above applies here as well.
- I tried a number of options for this step and realized quickly that I could only handle Opsite Flexifix for 1 or 2 days at most.
- I cut a notch out of the side of each that covers everything except the Transmitter with a minimum of at least a 1/2 inch or more of film around all edges to hold the whole thing in place for 3 weeks.
Here is a picture of my current sensor; I just restarted it for a 3rd time a few minutes ago.