Dexcom'ers, how long does your sensor adhesive stay on?


(imax386) #1

I ask because I'm doing a trial with a Seven Plus right now and I inserted my 2nd sensor yesterday and today the top and bottom flaps of the adhesive are already pealing up a little bit.

The first sensor I tried had the same thing happen...the sensor ended up falling off in 4 days.

I've been a pumper since 2000 so adhesives are nothing new, but these things are coming off easier than my pump sites.  I only used alcohol on the first sensor, but used IV prep under the adhesive area with this 2nd sensor.  I used tape on top on the first sensor but it just wiggled out from underneath it.

I haven't tried mastisol or special cut IV-3000 or anything, but I figure for a 7-day product I shouldn't have to be trying so hard.

What are your secrets for keeping it on?


(system) #2

i just recently started the dexcom about 3 weeks ago. i have some major sensitivities to adhesive, so my problem is not only keeping it sticking to my skin, but keeping it on without burning my skin off in the process. my first sensor lasted 7 days and while the adhesive was peeling, it didn't come out until i pulled it off. the 2nd sensor only lasted about 3 days. it was pretty much out by then and my skin was on fire, so i just pulled it off and left it off for a couple days. this 3rd one is doing much better. it's been on 7 days already and it's sticking pretty well. i'm going to leave it in to see how long the adhesive lasts. i think i might be able to get about 10 days out of it. i used absurd amounts of iv prep on the 3rd one. i have benadryl spray which is really sticky that i might try using next - for both skin sensitivity and sticky sake. i tried holding the 2nd one on with band-aids but the sensor tape came out from underneath the band-aid like you mentioned, and my skin threw a royal fit about the band-aid tape. so, uh, no bandaids from now on.


(TextingMyPancreas) #3

I have been using the Seven Plus since January, and the placement of the sensor on my body makes a big difference in how well it stays stuck.  Lower and middle stomach and back always start to peel early; upper stomach and hips tend to stay put.  I always use a swipe of alcohol, then a ring of IV prep wipe (I say a ring, because you don't want to insert the needle through skin that's been wiped with it - so I leave a spot for where the wire will go).  Often times by the 3rd or 4th day I will need to send in reinforcements (IV3000 tape) if it's on a part of me that moves a lot, but sometimes I don't need to.  The last sensor I wore was on my right hip; I wore it for 20 days (though it was certainly not accurate for those last 24 hours or so), and did not need any additional tape on it.

Good luck! 


(sarahslp) #4

It's funny you post this b/c mine used to stay on for about 4 days before peeling, about 6 before falling off. I was using fake eyelash glue (from the pharmacy) to hold it down once it started to peel. It worked, but was just yucky and gunky when I peeled the tape off. But, a few weeks ago, I started a new box of sensors, and they've been staying on great. So, I'd been wondering if Dexcom upgraded their adhesive or something! I change mine after 7 days b/c I have insurance coverage and very sensitive skin, so I don't leave it on in one place longer than is necessary. But, my new sensors have been staying on great for the 7 days.


(sarahslp) #5

BTW, I always use a ring of skin tac (avoiding the insertion location) like Kim does, too.


(RSalla) #6

I am a new Dexcom user I guess, I am not on my 4th or 5th sensor and I have had a small amout of peeling around the edges but it stays on for 7 days just fine.  Good to know some of these tricks in case it starts acting like you guys have said.


(RSalla) #7

Whoops...I meant to say..I am NOW on my 4th or 5th.


(imax386) #8

Do you guys feel like the stickiness changes from box to box, or is it consistent for you guys?  You're making me wonder if I got a less sticky lot Sarah.

I'm on day 3 and this one is lifting up at the edges, but it's still staying on so we'll see how far we can take it.  I hate putting on tape on top of it because from my experience if it's not done perfectly it just wiggles out and makes it come out easier.  At the very least I'm going to use mastisol next time (skin-tac is the pretty much same thing, right?)

Kim, I have my current one right in line with my belly button...would you consider that low?  Where exactly is higher stomach for you?  I figured the area I'm using is pretty flat and thus a safe spot.

Does Dexcom willingly replace sensors if they come off within 4 days?  That's kind of crappy if they charge that much and the adhesive short changes you 3 days.


(Richard157) #9

I also started using my Dexcom in January. I have also found that the sensor tape begins to peel in a few days, due to showers. I now use a Skin-Prep wipe all around the sensor tape and then put strips of paper tape on all 4 sides like in the diagram in the manual. The Skin-Prep keeps any allergic reaction from occurring. My sensor stays stuck. I use a sensor for 2 weeks. The accuracy is best during the 2'nd week.

There is a CGMS Group on this site. Click on Groups at the top of the page and give it a look.


(TextingMyPancreas) #10

[quote user="Ideen"]

Kim, I have my current one right in line with my belly button...would you consider that low?  Where exactly is higher stomach for you?  I figured the area I'm using is pretty flat and thus a safe spot.

[/quote]

That would be "middle" stomach for me, which I avoid.  :)  But, you're probably less squishy than I am, so your criteria would be different on what would work.  Lower stomach is below the belly button for me; upper stomach is the bottom of my ribcage.


(sarahslp) #11

[quote user="Richard Vaughn"]

I also started using my Dexcom in January. I have also found that the sensor tape begins to peel in a few days, due to showers.

[/quote]

Well, there's your problem, Richard. You should know T1's aren't supposed to shower! (;

Ideen, Dexcom doesn't usually send out replacements due to adhesion issues. But, when I was a new user, I called and acted sad and clueless, and they did replace one for me b/c it was before I knew about these "tricks." I'd call and ask and see what they say!


(tombeatson) #12

I've used Dexcom since July. My sensors have stayed stuck for 14 days pretty consistently. I prep the skin with alcohol. I realize that everyone's skin chemistry is different, and I seem to be fortunate as far as Dexcom is concerned.


(lizzistardust) #13

I follow the advice in this video, and it sticks pretty well.

When a little flap coems up, I use this skin-tac stuff to put it back down.  One word of warning: that stuff sticks really well!!!  If I use too much of it, it irritates my skin to pull it off.  A little bit does the job!


(Richard157) #14

"Well, there's your problem, Richard. You should know T1's aren't supposed to shower! "

Lol Sarah!!!  I wish I could sit in a tub and soak instead. My arthritis, weakened muscles and old age (71) make it so difficult to get up and down out of the tub.


(imax386) #15

I did all the tips that the 1happydiabetic video showed, didn't notice any difference.  Maybe I'm just being unrealistic, but I figured all the flaps would be secure in the first 4-5 days for a 7 day adhesive.

I'm on day 4 with this one and the top and bottom flap are definitely floating up, but it's staying on well enough.  I'm considering mastisol tomorrow to keep the flaps down...hopefully that'll stop it from coming up any further.

Has anyone used both skintac and mastisol?  Are they basically the same thing, or is one way stickier than the other?


(imax386) #16

Quick non-adhesive question for any dexcom'ers who look at this: Is there any special protocol to restarting a sensor once you hit the 7 day deadline?  Do you have to do anything to trick it?

After it shuts down, I just go to "start sensor" and it will start the 2 hour calibration again right?  Then enter 2 meter readings and you're home free?

There's no way I can skip that 2 hour downtime, is there?


(TextingMyPancreas) #17

Ideen - you have it right.  You hit stop sensor, then start sensor, and yes, you have to wait the 2 hours.  (Lame, I know!)  :)


(BrianPQuinn) #18

The edges on my Dexcom might give me a day two days tops. It wasn't always like that. I went to the pharmacy and bought a role of 3M transpore tape. It works like a charm a piece the size of a quarter will usually last through the life of the sensor. As I hit about day 10/11 more tape is needed to salvage the edges that have pulled up on me. The tape is cheap you can order a box form amazon for like $15 and super sticky, plus you can tear it with your hand.


(system) #19

[quote user="Brian Q."]

The tape is cheap you can order a box form amazon for like $15 and super sticky, plus you can tear it with your hand.

[/quote]

that's only because of your schwarzenegger like muscles. not everyone can bend steel like it's made of rubber.


(imax386) #20

[quote user="Brian Q."]

The edges on my Dexcom might give me a day two days tops.

[/quote]

This makes me feel better.  I was barely getting over a day when the top and bottom would fray up.  Was hesitant that I was alone in this and that me and the sensor adhesives might not get along.

I finished my trial yesterday.  Think I'm going to make the purchase, but I want to hold off until the next generation comes out whether that's tied in with the Omnipod/Animas or not.