I am having trouble with my infusion sets sticking and staying on my body. I’m on my third site change today and it’s falling off. I am allergic to the plastic tape to tape down the tube and I’ve tried without success the tegaderms (sp?). I am of Greek and Italian decent so my skin isn’t exactly normal/dry, it tends to be a touch oily, and I think that’s my problem. Anyone know of an industrial strength adhesive??? I swear I need one!!!

Mastisol, sometimes called “Gorilla Goo,” is a great skin prep for any adhesive. It works on bandages also.

Many Diabetes and Medical supplies stores have it. It is a liquid that you can apply with a q-tip and then put the infusion site adhesive right on top of it.

IV Prep wipe pads also may help. They dry and clean the skin.

Mastisol holds my sensors on for at least 15 days max was 25 and I chose to take it off. sure it would help a infusion set
you need to let it dry before placing down though or it does not work well. american diabetes wholesale is where i order from, found it to be the cheapest.

We use IV Prep on the skin prior to insertion (let it dry) We then wipe some more around the infusion set after insertion and let that dry.

I’ve used IV-Prep wipes, which I hate. I’m lucky if my set will stay on for 3 days when I use them. I’ve had much better luck with Skin-Tac wipes.

Try benzoin swabs. We use that as adhesive of choice in the hospital.


How about Crazy Glue?!!! (Just kidding, kiddo!) Do you use a site preparation pad? It’s called I.V. Prep. made by Smith&Nephew. It makes the skin more tacky if you wait a couple of minutes to put the infusion set on. I also use the IV3000 patches and cut a whole as big as the infusion set w/o the surrounding adhesive. It holds it more in place and it’s not as abusive as tegaderm. If I knew where you lived, I’d send you a couple of samples before you decide what works well for you. Maybe you could become my friend and then we could communicate our addresses to each other privately.

Good Luck.

Lois La Rose
Milwaukee, WI

I’ve never used any site preparation before inserting the insets, but I actually think that I got one, fingers crossed- went through more supplies than I had planned and I won’t get more until tomorrow, which I will be out of town when they get here- that might stay. I used new skin bandage solution to get it to stick on me. So far, it’s working plus I decided to do double duty and cover it with a tegaderm just to be on the safe side! I called Animas and they recommended the IV Prep stuff.

Lois, I’d love to try them, I will add you and then message you my address! :slight_smile: Thank you!

When using Skin-prep or IV Prep the trick is make sure the site is tacky before applying the set. Tacky to tacky will hold pretty securely.

Benzoin is a great product - has a pretty strong odor (personally I like the smell - but most don’t), inexpensive too. Tacky to tacky is the key with Benzoin as well.
If you are still having problems call your local hospital and ask for the enterostomal therapist/nurse. They are pros at keeping appliances in place on uncooperative sites.

One thing I forgot to mention after reading some of the other comments. If you are using a MM sensor, the Mastisol or IV Prep may peal the sensor wire off the needle. I make sure that the area where the needle is being inserted is free from any sticky stuff.

According to Dr. H. Peter Chases’ book on Insulin Pumps/CGMS, some people find that if they buy a deodorant rock (sold at health food stores) they can rub the site ahead of time and then put on the adhesive. You might also try IV PREP wipes by Smith and Nephew.

Tim, I really like the smell of benzoin too :slight_smile:

yes!!! i had the exact same problem!!! I’m Sammy by the way. Anyway, i know how you feel because i play softball, and i pitch a lot. My sites would always start to peel off whenever i would pitch. and i wanted to know what to do to stop it!! well i found a way. what i do is first i wipe my skin off with an I.V PREP, it is supposed to do the whole job in making your site stick to your skin, but it dose not. After that dries, i put on the very sticky, SKIN TACK. it is very sticky and i will almost guarantee you that your sites will stick on longer. all you have to do is apply it before you insert the site, wait for it to dry and your problems are solved!!!

Dave,the Smith-Nephew IV preps work well for me. I think it depends on individudal skin types, moisture levels: dryness, or oiliness, etc. The “tacky to tacky” paradigm works better than a simple wipe of the alchohol pad, as I was trained 7 years ago when I got my first MM Paradigm pump . I wonder if the training for set insertion is still the same…
I would be willing to try the SKIN Prep to check it out…Does MM sell it as well?

God Bless,

SkinTac is another to try - I find it stickier than skin-prep. Mastisol beats them all, but it’s not as convenient to carry around as a back-up adhesive - I like knowing that with a Skin-Tac wipe and some tape I can solve most immediate adhesion problems away from the house without losing a whole set.

I’m another Skin-Tac user. I bought in a small bottle that comes with a small round applicator attached to the lid. I use it to prepare my skin for attachment of my DexCom CGM sensor. I learned that you have to wait till it dries before attaching the sensor adhesive. I’ve worn the sensors for up to 19 days. When I remove the sensor it’s because the sensor has failed, not because of failed adhesion.

I didn’t know about the Skin-Tac individual wipes at the time that I bought the bottle. The wipes sound like a great idea to add to a infusion set kit for application wherever and whenever a site change is required.


There’s advice about this topic all over the place-- but since TuDiabetes deosn’t have any sort of “advanced search”, they’re nearly impossible to find. Here’s one:

(I’ll have to make another post to point at others, if I can find some.)

IV-prep is definitely the wrong product! for this problem. (Even it’s maker, Smith and Nephew, says so. And so they also make something else instead, “Skin-Prep”.) The main ingredient of IV-Prep is IPA, as a disinfectant, which totally evaporates away aws part of it’s disinfectant job. (And it isn’t much of a disinfectant, either… if you don’t feel safe with a good wash and scrub, then you really need to move all the way up to PVI, the orange stuff used in ERs and Operating rooms.)

IV-Prep has only small amounts of the other ingredients which stay behind and help the appliance tape to stay stuck. Skin-Prep changes the mix, containing a lot less IPA and a lot more of the skin-protecting, adhesive-pad-helping ingredients. Just read the front of the box, (if you’ve got one; I don’t), and compare the bullet items list to the bullet items on the Skin-Prep box:

  • Effective protection between tape and skin
  • Reduces risk of tape stripping
  • Helps tape, film, and appliance adhesion

Bingo! “Tape Stripping” and lack of “appliance adhesion” is exactly the problem you’ve talking about. IV-Prep is made for short term usage, less than a single day. For long term appliances, like the Dexcom Sensor, Skin-Prep is VASTLY superior.

Even better, per their bullet #1, I’ve seen that the thin film of “helper compound” which Skin-Prep leaves behind reduces irritation and itching. I.V.-Prep, in contrast, always gave me little red bumps and itchiness underneath the infusion set pads and Sensors.

S. Woodward’s note (on July 16, 2010) is correct about advising MM users to leave a little “donut hole” around the target. The MM shooter mechanism still isn’t quite as well designed as the Dexcom, IMO, even though they keep changing it to make it work better. (If you’ve got way too much time on your hands, you can find descriptions of these design changes within the FDA’s “Pre Market Approvals” list for minor changes being made in the Sensor.) Dexcom don’t have such a problem, and can just wipe Skin-Prep over the entire pad target area; it causes no change in accuracy or Sensor lifespan.

Both are made by Smith and Nephew.

Sammy and Terry’s use of Skin-Tac is another good alternative, but I don’t need it. Mastisol and Skin-Prep both need the same trick which they advise with Skin-Tac: You need to let all of these liquids dry up, pretty thoroughly, before you press in the Dexcom pad. If you press in the pad while the adhesive layer or Skin-Prep “helper” layer is still wet, IT WON’T WORK !!!

Since I have a very active lifestyle, leading to 2+ showers per day, even the Skin-Prep assisted adhesion sometimes begins to fail. (Varies with the weather- as early as day 12 during the hot, sticky summer.) I use Mastisol on the failing edges of the pad when this occurs. But Mastisol, unlike Skin-Prep, is kinda nasty, and will need chemical removal when you remove the Sensor. Smith and Nephew’s “Remove” pads are good for that removal.

One thing which I should add right away:

Most of these wipe-on pads use IPA as a carrier/solvent, and the liquid starts out REALLY runny. When you wipe on a vertical surface, as most Dexcom users do (upper butt cheek, love handle, frontal ab, etc.) it instantly flows away from the top of the application towards the bottom of the wiped area. (From GRAVITY.)

The part of your Dexcom adhesive pad which is needs help the most is the top edge. This is the edge which usually fails first-- especially when the failure is provoked by showers streaming water droplets from above. The solution to this problem is to use a hairdryer:

Turn on the hair dryer before you wipe, on “air” or “medium” (not “high”). There isn’t time to poke at the control slide after you’ve wiped, the gravity-induced flow starts up too fast. Hold the hair dryer with one hand, several inches underneath the wiping target (and pointed pointed away). Wipe with the other hand, and immediately turn the hair dryer airflow up and into the wiped area.

You don’t want to blow the liquid into “waves” on the surface of your skin, or spread the applied fluid around; you just need enough wind to counteract gravity. For my hair dryer, this is about 6" underneath, about two inches from the side of my body and tilted slightly into my target. But YHDMV (Your Hair Dryer May Vary).

Thanks for this information! I was looking for the difference between IV Prep and Skin Prep and found your post really helpful! I’ll be switching to Skin Prep soon!