Dexcom adhesion issues

I just had my first wasted sensor :frowning: for some reason I am having adhesion issues (even my infusion set is acting up). I am going on a little weekend getaway and don’t want to be stressing about losing another sensor! After inserting it and putting in the transmitter it just fell off. I am limited on available real estate here as I am completely covered in stretch marks. Any tips on using thighs as a site? I know it’s not recommended but I have to try something. I should note I do have skin tac to help

When I used the dexcom, I had to use skin tac or IV prep to make it stay on for more than 4 days.

Did you push on the tape? Did you place it on just washed and shaved dry skin? Did you rub the tape after pushing it down? Did you wash site with Hibicleasne? Skin tak is much stickier than IV prep. Maybe clothing that wicks away moisture would help.

Here's what I do - following the advice of posters on the Dexcom users forum here>

1. Cut a piece of Opsite Flexfix large enough to cover the sensor adhesive pad with around a half inch extra on all sides. (You can buy Opsite Flexfix from Amazon. The 4 inch wide rolls work well and are the correct width if you run them at right angles to the sensor).
2. Cut a hole in the middle of the Flexfix patch just large enough to allow the plastic sensor bed to fit through.
3. Clean the site with an alcohol swab, let it dry, then cover/wipe the area with Skin-Tac.
4. As soon as the Skin-Tac starts to get sticky, insert the sensor and attach the transmitter. Surround it with the patch of Flexfix you just cut.

I typically get around 14-18 days out of sensor, but I have had one that lasted 25 and stayed firmly stuck down. You do need the Flexfix as well as the Skin Tac.


I have allergy issues with skin tac so my Dex routine is to put a piece of tegaderm down first and then insert right through it. I get better stick to the tegaderm, and better stick of tegaderm to me.
I do not cut out a hole for the sensor, just insert through it with no problem. I can get 2-3 weeks of good numbers.
There are many alternate sites you can try. Thighs, back of arms, luv handles/upper butt, and even the girls. All will give readings and some will work better for some vs others. The less motion/flexing of area the better thing tend to be.
Currently the girls are my preferred spot since the sensor is protected by bra band and there are no emergent clothing adjustment issues.

Hey Alyssa:

I've done a lot of trial and error with sites and adhesion methodologies. What I've found works best for me is the backs of my arms and dabbing SkinTac on the adhesive around a week after initial insertion and as needed thereafter. I get a reliable two to three weeks of excellent adhesion that way.

The best way to insert it, I've found, is to raise your arm over your head like you're scratching your opposite ear. Then position the sensor as high up to your shoulder and as close to your armpit as possible, making sure the filament inserts upwards towards your shoulder.

I get readings as accurate as my abdomen, and the location is so out of the way that it's almost impossible to tear off by bumping against something and I often forget its even there.

Good luck and all the best!


I can reliably get 14 days or more of adhesion from my sensor placement. The most important prep is to throughly clean with soap, hot water, scrubbing, and drying. I aggresively rub with a wash cloth and sometimes use a loofa sponge to rough up the area.

I used to place the sensor after the above process and then apply a coating of liquid Skin-Tac with the liquid applicator onto the top of the sensor adhesive. The Skin-Tac soaks through the sensor bandage and increases the adhesion to the sensor bandage. Applying the Skin-Tac after the sensor is placed removes the possibility of fouling the sensor enzymes if painted on the skin before sensor insertion. I would easily get 14 days of adhesion and never terminated a sensor session due to failed sensor adhesion. I’ve reached 21 days with this method.

I’ve since switched to hobbit’s Tegaderm method and it works equally well. The advantage to this techique is that I don’t need to use any Skin-Tac. I did noticce, however, that the Tegaderm patch starts to peel away at the edges near the end of the 14-day placement. This could be more of a problem with daily athletic pursuits.

I'm intrigued about using "the girls". Where exactly are you putting the sensor?

Think of a breast as a clock face with nipple at center. My current placement is on right side with dex placed like big hand pointing at 2:30 almost 3:00. I have at least 1-2 inches from edge of sensor to nipple. this places dex between the girls so when I side sleep I'm not laying on it and getting V dropouts and false alarms due to tissue compression. For me, it also does not show as a third nipple with fitted clothing. I have also used outside of breast - where the bra band/armpit is on either side with good readings until I roll over and sleep on it.
Will be trying under side of breast in future. It all depends on how generous or saggy things are at this moment in your life as to where you put it. Do you have an old sensor bed you can stuff with a tootsie roll to simulate size shape of dex and transmitter? Will give you an idea of how it will look with your build and prefered clothing.

I;m also using girls as pump infusion sites, can have both on same side and not worry about sleeping rollovers effecting numbers. Currently dex at 3ish and infusion site at 10ish.

Do you change out at 14 day because your sensor gets loose and you numbers go off? Have you tried running longer and using additional tegaderm, opsite flexfix or hypafix to help as it begins to lift. I find the itch factor is a warning that it is lifting and may need more tape to get to that 4th restart. I have found that if I am not having wild swings in BG, and can keep it tightly anchored that I can get an additional week or two.

I also use skin tac, but it often isn't enough. Lately I use Opsite Flexifix on each sensor as well, and I can get 2 weeks out of each sensor (I could probably go longer, but I pull them because I tend to get itchy rashes if I go much beyond 2 weeks).

I'm not a side sleeper, so I can see how the side under the armpits might work. I just feel like I might not have enough skin tissue to be able to go in between or under. No offence intended..are yours big? Or does it not matter for you?

My sensor change rate is completely driven by the amount of data drop-outs and and good correlation with my BG fingersticks. I don't care when the data-stream degrades, whether it's less than 7 days, during the second week, or beyond 14 days. Large over- or under-shoots to highs and lows that do not respond well to calibration also persuades me that it's time to change. If I'm getting false alarms during sleep, either high or low, and the system doesn't respond to calibration changes, then I have less patience with that situation.

Once I've reached 14 days, I'm pretty satisfied with the longevity/value. My last few sensors have a July expiration date and I'm wondering if the enzyme is past its prime. Data dropouts, even in the first week, make me wonder about the cause.

I've run a few sensors into the third week but have never had one perform well enough to get me to the fourth week. I don't self-pay for sensors so I'm not very motivated to push things.

I suspect that sensor longevity is significantly dependent on batch (rather than expiry date as such). I often find that all 4 sensors from a particular batch will start to degrade around the same time (+ 1 day). However, I have had some batches where all the sensors lasted 18 days and other ones where I have had to replace 3 out of four at around 12 days.

I'm not particularly large. I find the fit between to work well but is more dependent on which style bra I happen to be wearing, as to how well it is hidden.

Thanks for all the input!! I will definitely be experimenting with these suggestions on my next few site changes.

I can say that I tried the skin tac over the white adhesive, and once that dried I covered it with tegaderm that had a hole cut out for the sensor. I put it on the outside of my thigh near the hip area. So far I have been getting the most accurate readings since I started on the dex and 6 days later it is holding strong and doesn’t appear to be loosening at all!

I have only used my hip/back area and my stomach area with the g4. I'm allergic to the glue or something in the dex thing so I use iv 3000 dressing on my skin first below the dex adhesive and then above it to help it stay in place. I also clean the area of my skin with alcohol wipes before the iv 3000 goes on. I tried tegaderm with my first dex 2 years ago but it didn't seem to work as I had a terrible rash and itching at the glue site as well a huge lump and swelling where the sensor was. That was without any barrier the first time I think. The second one on my arm gave me a terrible migraine so I had to take it off.

I had some itching with the first sensor this time around and then almost none with the second, for the second one I put iv3000 above and I think that creates a barrier to stop water from getting at the dex adhesive and your skin etc.

Anyway, I think if you clean with alcohol and put iv 3000 below and ABOVE the dex adhesive you should be ok.

Today I had an mri and almost forgot I had a sensor etc. on me and had to remove it unfortunately because the sensor was still going strong. I do still get a little red, small inflammation at the sensor site which seems to take a while to recover but nothing major.

Good luck!

For the first time my sensor lasted longer than 7 days and I believe it’s thanks to the tegaderm/using my putter thigh as a site. Now I just need to remember to stop laying on it lol

There is a lot of info on this in the dexcom group. I use my thigh (front about midway down) and it works great for me. I generally get a good 2 weeks. Regarding tape, skintac is really good at fixing issues because it will soak through from the outside. I have a roll of hypafix tape, and I cut out an oval piece which I cut in half and then have the two pieces overlap over the sensor. The sensor's tape stays clean, and it also helps keep the sensor from catching on stuff.

For my sensor I usually am okay with just Skin-tac for a while but I also use the Opsite flexfix. I've never applied it like jjm335 but I am from now on! I usually cut 4 separate pieces but one big one seems way more practical an easier to apply.