So I've had the sensor in for three days. The tape started curling up at the edges the first day, so I added some IV3000 tape that the physician assistant gave me - she said she got it from their pump reps, so I can't have any more. Now the IV3000 is looking a bit unstable - what do I do next? I know I've read a discussion about this but I couldn't find it - is there a "search" function on here somewhere?
Welcome to the world of trying to keep the Dex on. I have a sweaty kid and the tape never worked for us. I use skin tac and then tape the whole thing over with tegaderm. Some people use mastisol instead of skin tac, but I like that skin tac comes in wipes. Some people cut out a hole in the tegaderm, and that's what dexcom says too, but my husband works in wireless technologies and said it is not necessary and we never have with no issues. Jack started becoming allergic to the dexcom adhesive after about 4-6 months, so we also have to put a J&J tough pad between the sensor and his arm, and we cut out a hole for the wire to go through and into his arm. He started becoming allergic to skin tac as well, so we use a cavillon barrier wipe in between skin tac and his skin. So our process is - cut hole in tough pad, stick sensor to tough pad, wipe on cavillon to skin, wipe on skin tac to skin, put tough pad w/ sensor on arm, insert, tape whole thing down with tegaderm.
Wow. What a series of challenges. I can understand the allergy thing - I swell up when I contact latex, but I was told the explanation for this is that back in 1977, when I started injecting insulin, the procedure (in Ireland) was to insert the syringe into the latex plug at the top of the vial and draw up the insulin, and then inject it using the same needle, so my body became reactive. Obviously that's not what's happening in the case of a two-year-old - it's just that we have such highly reactive immune systems. (I never get colds, even when my husband has one.) Does Jack?
Thank you for all the details - I really appreciate the level of detail. I googled all of these adhesives and realised this is a much bigger project than I had imagined. Sheesh...
I have to say, Jack has been getting less sick since he has had diabetes. (Knock on wood!) However, we are more careful about germs now too. Little kids seem to get sick with everything, so we never really know. I know a woman who believes that manufactured insulin has "protective properties", because she said her kid rarely got sick after diabetes, but I have no idea why that would be.
Also, if you are having a problem getting the dex off, you should get some unisolve. It comes in a wipe which is nice too. And a soaking bath always helps, just like with a pump site.
Yes enjoy keeping the dex on! I don't know your insurance situation, but if you need to you should see what it will cover. My insurance pays for tegaderm but not for any of the wipes.
I've been using some Opsite Flexfix, and it seems to work great. I'm also using some of the skin-prep wipes (don't know the brand) that my nurse sister gave me. So far it's working great. I've had no problems wearing the sensors for two complete weeks. I've also got some of the Tegaderm that I'm going to try with the next sensor.
I do cut holes for the sensor and I've found it to work well. I'm curious about those that don't. Do you just put a big giant piece of tape over the whole sensor? I would think that would keep the tape from lying flat and work it's way loose from the inside out.
Best of luck with the Dexcom, I know I'm thoroughly satisfied with mine so far.
Yes - tegaderm over the whole sensor. I normally put two pieces on to cover the sensor and edges of adhesive, and make sure it has contact with the skin so it doesn't come up, and that works well. We also use skin tac and tough pads, so I have extra adhesion anyway. However, between lots of scratching and sweating I have put up to six pieces on the sensor and we've never had a problem with reception. I can post a photo if that would help - let me know.
Do you use the 4" opsite flexfix tape?
I sweat a lot being outside in Texas during the summer. What works for me is Skin-Tac. What I do is make sure the area I am inserting is clean and totally dry, I DO NOT apply skin-tac first as it can mess up the sensor during insertion. I insert the Dex, and then use the skin-tac wipe to soak the outer edges of the Dex tape. I will help it to dry with a blow dryer on low, and then re-apply the skin-tac to the dex tape once again. I also find that after a shower if I blow dry the dex tape, low heat, about 30 seconds to a minute, it seems to help. Should the edges begin peeling, sometimes I will use skin-tac again, but if not, using mastisol works wonders. I use a q-tip and "paint" the mastisol under the edge of the peeling dex tape and then paint the edges of the dex tape with the mastisol. Again the blow dryer on low helps I think to set the mastisol and make it adhere better. I find I do not have to tape the dex down and I get about 2 weeks most of the time with each sensor.
Yes, that's a good point - we never wipe anything on the skin that will come in direct contact with the dex wire. We wipe around the specific site insertion on the skin, and then place the dex appropriately so that the insertion point is on bare dry skin.
Great information here, thank you. What size tegaderm dressing would you recommend?
We use 2 3/8 inch x 2 3/4 inch (6 cm x 7 cm) tegaderm, product code 1624W.
Thank you Korrie! Keeping the Dex on is a problem, I just got some Skin-tac and will give it a try, as you apply it. I am outside and sweat a lot playing tennis and walking here in Illinois. So, you apply the skin-tac AFTER taping down the dexcom? I have the bottle with the q-tip like applicator. So I should apply that skin-tac around outer edges of dexcom edges? Is the dex-tape you refer to just the white adhesive tape on the transmitter? Never heard of Mastisol, will need to look that up. I so hope this works because it's at the point I don't like wearing the dexcom due to always fighting to keep it on. Thanks again!
Yes, I do not wipe the area I am going to insert with any sticky stuff before the insertion - either my infusion site or my Dex site. (I bent cannulas at the infusion sites if put skin tac on first and inserted second). So I clean area (alcohol wipes), let it dry totally, insert Dex . Usually I use the skin tac wipe and then wipe the edges of the Dex tape that is now adhered to my skin. Then I set it with a little blow dryer heat (low), clip the transmitter onto the Dex, and wipe the tape again with the skin tac. And set it again with a little blow dryer heat. Now I will often tape a piece of 4X4 gauze over the entire contraption - I am rough and tend to hang the dex on clothing, stuff, etc. Plus I sometimes think the gauze helps to absorb sweat before it soaks the dex tape. But that's another set of tape to get irritated by in the heat ! LOL! Mastisol I find works great when the edges start to peel because you "paint" it between the peeling tape and skin and then use a q-tip to push it down (otherwise your finger is stuck to you forever!). However, most of the time I make two weeks without needing to apply Mastisol, which for me, is usually the life of my Dex. And given that I usually must use some sort of adhesive remover when I am ready to get rid of it, I guess it works for me.