Bad Skin Reaction to Adhesive

Hi all,

My daughter has been on the Dex since October 2013, but in the last couple of months she has developed a horrible reaction to the adhesive (I think). Let me preface this by saying that she wears a pod on her arms and legs with no problem (and I use Cavilon skin barrier then Skin Tac and Mastisol under the pod, along with a waterproof 2x4 bandage over it).

She wears the sensor at the top of her tush, just below her waistline. She has no fat on her stomach, and since we use arms and legs for the pod, the tush is the only other logical place to put it. I have always used Cavilon first then Skin Tac on top of the Dex adhesive as well as Tegaderm. After taking a 9-day break to let her skin heal, I put a new one on but left off the tegaderm, thinking that might be the culprit. I thought that had done the trick but when I took the sensor off 10 days later, her skin was very red and chapped with blisters directly under the transmitter.

And with the new sensor, her skin is already very red and itchy all along the top side of the adhesive. This is so frustrating for me and painful for her. I have a box of Hollister skin gel protective wipes on the way to try as a barrier. If that doesn't work, I'm out of ideas.

Have any of you been through this with yourself or your child? If so, how did you resolve it?

Have you talked with the support people at Dex? If so, what did they suggest?

Similarly, have you talked this over with your daughter's med support team? What have they suggested? Have they seen the skin reaction either first hand or by sending them a pic?

It does make one wonder if the skin contact barriers you are using are actually providing a "barrier". Could something be going wrong when they are applied?

Have you considered testing the Dex adhesive by itself to see if the reaction can in fact be isolated to that?

In other words, could the reaction be a result of something other than the adhesive? (Perhaps the Dex sensor probe?)

I, too have had that reaction, and what I found is that there is dirt, soap, sweat, or other things getting between the adhesive pad and the skin. One thing I noticed about your post is you said, "10 days later", and that second activation is usually the "danger zone" for me. The other thing is the "top side of the adhesive" that makes me think that it may be slightly peeling, and letting the above-mentioned things in there.

Here is my routine for putting sensors (and infusion sets):
1. Remove the old one
2. Take a shower
3. Dry off. I use a towel and let it air dry for about 10 minutes. This way there is no dirt/sweat/residue from anything else.
4. Put the sensor/infusion set on

I didn't see how old your daughter is (and you an my mom could probably swap stories...), but her body chemistry may be changing (kind of the "I'm out of ideas too" card), and like with John said, try these things out singly to isolate the culprit. Lots of fun, using our kids at test vehicles...

I'm sorry to hear that.
My skin reacts to the adhesive when I remove it, but what has helped me tremendously is using Uni-solve wipes to remove it (either my G4 or my Medtronic Mios).

Now I never remove anything (even the hypafix tape I add to the G4 after 1 week) without Uni-solve wipes!

I hope this helps, but obviously it won't solve your problem if your daughter is allergic to the G4 adhesive. At least it doesn't sound like contact dermatitis (since that would happen with the Omnipod as well).

check out the dexcom FB group many discussions of this.
things to try,

back of arms rather than tush or belly, many are not as sensitive there.

put a barrier down first and then insert through -tegader, douoderm,iv 3000, opsite flexfix, hypafix, tought pads

Barrier creams wipes - bards, cavalon

sprays on skin first to stop reaction benadryl, flovent, or flonase. if its a wet spray will need to let it dry before the nest step.
Flovent, and flonase are prescription steriod sprays and prevent the reaction.

Many use various combinations and if your using skin-tac try mastisol as many get the rach from just the skin tac.

After a post from another member I began placing the Tegaderm directly on my skin, followed by the Dexcom sensor directly on top of it, vertically rather than horizontally. That helped to stop the skin irritation/breakdown I sometimes experienced under the sensor itself and to stop the ??? from happening. I don't cut a hole or anything. I just put the Dex on top of the Tegaderm.

I use:

BARD® Protective Barrier Film


3M™ Tegaderm™ Transparent Film Dressing Frame Style 1626W

After I shower and towel dry I use an alcohol wipe to make sure the area is free from any further residue.

I apply the Bard Barrier wipe to my skin, over the entire area where the Tegaderm will be applied.

I let this dry naturally, it only takes a few minutes.

Then, I apply the Tegaderm.

Then, I place the Dexcom in the center.

I hope some of this helps. Best of luck to you and your daughter.

I get massively bad skin reactions as well from the various adhesives.
I am even allergic to the Tegaderm and other barrier tapes.
What has been working well for me has been to just apply some Skin Tac directly to the Dex adhesive pad or infusion set adhesive pad.
Meaning, pull off the wax paper adhesive cover, apply Skin Tac, wait about 2 minutes for it to not be completely wet, apply and then smooth out everything with an old starbucks card so that there are no wrinkles or air pockets. This seems to work very well and no reactions.
I always use the UniSolve adhesive remover when it is time for a site change now and it works wonderfully for not leaving raw blotchy irritated skin afterward.

I hope this helps.

I’ve had skin reaction problems too. When I used the omnipod, after about a year, I developed a horrible reaction (I started a thread on here about it a couple of years ago). I ended up stopping the omnipod after trying all sorts of skin prep…I even tried accu puncture for a while! Now I use the Medtronic paradigm and the dexcom. I’ve had success with coloplast skin barrier wipe. It’s the only thing I found that reduces the irritation. I’ve been having trouble keeping the dexcom on for the last 6 weeks or so it’s been falling off after 2 or 3 days. The last one I put on I used the coloplast and it stayed on for 7 days and the irritation was less as well. I hope this helps!