Does any adhesive really work?

I’m a T1 of 32 years and in good health. I started using a pump a year and a half ago (Minimed Paradigm) and started using Medtronic’s GCM about 3 weeks ago. My problem is that I can’t get the sensor/transmitter to stick to me even for 3 days, despite trying all sorts of different tapes. I work out regularly and have found that sweat, especially combined with the movement of clothing over any tape, seems to wipe out every adhesive I’ve tried, including IV3000 (edges curl up in no time), paper tape, Nexcare sport patches, waterproof athletic tape, and even duct tape. Has anyone else had this problem? Any advice on tape or other strategies? I’ve tried placing the sensor both on my abdomen and thigh (where there’s little body hair).

I work out side and have had my infusion site as well the CGM sensor/transmitter lift off from sweat. What I have found that works for me is after incerting the sensor b/4 pulling the white tab I spray mastisol and then pull the white tab and stick it down then use polyskin II over the entire unit to keep the transmiter down. The clinical specialest with Medtronic said mastisol will also hold the transmiter down but have not tried it yet. Call the 800 # and Medtronics will send you a adhesive kit with several types of adhesives including mastisol. Good luck.

That sounds like a good strategy. I’ll try it!

Wow, this sounds creative. I’m going to add this to my experimental attempts in adhesion. I have so many adhesive products lined up on my shelf now, it looks like a pharmacy!

Hey Charlie,
I, like you, have just started the CGM from minimed (LOVE IT! - but would you agree that the needle is huge and a bit scary?), and I sometimes have trouble with it coming off. I find this is the worst when I try to stick it to me in high humidity situations. I have only tried the IV 3000 from Smith and Nephew though. I use two of them, one for the front and one for the back. I wish they made one that was twice as big, as I think I would have more luck if I could just place one. Of course, I am sure that someone makes tape this big, I just don’t know who and doubt my insurance will cover it even if I do find it, so I have been making due with what I have gotten for free.
Be careful about the stuff you put underneath the insertion site though - as I was figuring out how to use the thing myself, in the directions it says not to put anything, including sticky adhesives or tape, underneath where the catheter is actually going in. I am not sure why they have this warning, but I figure they must have a reason. Do you think it might affect the readings or something?
Anyways, good luck in your search, and be sure to let us know if you come up with any good ideas!

I’ve been having the same problem with adhesives. I started CGM in April. I have a two year old and we go to the pool often. I’ve lost a couple sensors at the pool and have gotten very frustrated. I found that using mastisol and the Nexcare tegaderm dressing is the ABSOLUTE best. It is very waterproof, so I’m assuming that would help with the sweating issue too. The IV300 and Polyskin dressings will fall off, even using mastisol. The mastisol, I got through Medtronic and I could only call in an order. It is not listed in the online store. As stated earlier, Medtronic will send you a sample of mastisol and the tegaderm dressing in the adhesive hit. I just finished swim lessons with my son and I got in the pool Monday through Friday for two weeks and the adhesive did not budge. Good luck!

Heather, thanks for the tip. The mastisol I tried came in expensive single-use ampules and I ended up wasting most of each ampule. Is that what you use, or have you found it in a recloseable bottle?


I use Skin Tac by Torbot. Very effective. If you give it a try, also get their TacAway adhesive remover.

Thank you,

Have you tried saturating the white adhesive of the sensor with IV prep, after insertion? You just have to be still until it dries.
If the mastisol does not work, benzoin (a brown liquid used in hospitals for adhesion) helps. It may be a little hard to find (unless you know a nurse…)
If you put any of these where the sensor punctures the skin, you can alter the enzyme on the sensor, probably affecting the accuracy of your readings.
I’m an educator living in TX, so those I work with have sweat issues too.

When I received the free adhesive kit, it also came with the ampules. Once I actually purchased it from Medtronic I made sure to ask about the packaging because you are right, you waste so much. I was able to order a bottle from medtronic and it has a flip top lid and all I use is a drop on a Q-tip and it works well.

If you are really sweating…I am not sure anything will work.

IV3000 does not cut if for me. Never tried duct tape :slight_smile:
Tegaderm dressings work better for me. Most of the time, I can get the sensors to stick 6 days.
If I am working outside on a hot day I might get 3 hours.

I generally place the sensors in my abdomen, 2-4 inches right or left of the mid line.

For covering the sensor & transmitter once it’s inserted, try Smith & Nephew’s Opsite Flexifix. It comes in a roll in either 2" or 4" widths, 33 yards long. Get the 4". Cut what you need (I tend to cut a 4" length so I have a square piece to work with) and you will need only that one piece. It’s very slightly thicker than IV300 or Tegaderm, but you won’t notice that on your skin.

I just started the sensors in JUne and was constantly having to change the dressings (IV3000 was the worst, Tegaderm a little better) due to sweat, or because a teeny edge peeled up and then pulled lose from there. The Flexifix works perfectly. I have not had any edge peel up. I actually have a hard time getting it off when I want to! If you use a sensor past the recommended 3 days and need to remove the dressing to charge the transmitter, be careful removing the Flexifix.

Other hints I’ve learned elsewhere are:

Get a roll of paper tape. As soon as the sensor is inserted, use a piece to tape it down, avoiding the little prongs that the transmitter connects to. This will keep it stable while you wait to attach the t ransmitter.

Put a tiny bit of Vaseline over the top of the transmitter so the dressing doesn’t stick to it, making it easier to remove without yanking your transmitter (and sensor) out.

jI use a product called tuff skin by crammer. It is used by trainers to tape ankles.

I started using a dexcom CGM just over 2 months ago. The sales rep
suggested using IV prep wipes, which make the skin sticky, and which I have used
successfully. I swim and have tried using tape over the sensor/transmitter, but I have not
found the tape to work well. Also, my pharmacy does not carry the IV prep wipes,
but I was able to get them online.

The IV Prep, if applied to the skin before the sensor is inserted may affect the function of the sensor, as it interferes with the enzyme on the sensor itself.
If you need the extra adhesion, best to saturate the adhesive patch of the sensor with IV Prep AFTER it is inserted and let it dry thoroughly. Hope this helps…


I have the same issue. However I did find a new bandage the ReliaMed Transparent Film Dressing, 4" X 4-3/4", 50/Box, seems to be doing a really nice job for me. My stronger than the IV 3000. When i use the IV 3000 I use two of them

I cross the bandages one going up and one going across. I still have to change it out after a day or so., BUt it does seem to work .


I like the Vaseline idea because it is definitely a pain to clean adhesive residue off the transmitter. Another idea: I’ve been cutting a small piece of tape the size of the transmitter and sticking it face-to-face on the sticky side of the tape so its non-stick side sits over the transmitter. That works, too.

Does saturation through the patch work the same? Can I do that if the patch starts to peel?
Also, can you avoid the screwing up the sensor problem if you make sure
not to put the IV prep on the needle insertion point? I usually draw a little circle with a pen - and wipe the
IV prep - like a donut, around the circle, then place the insertion needle in the circle. Do you see any
problem with this approach.

Charlie: I hope you have found your ideal tape solution by now, and I apologize for responding so late. I use 3Ms MediPore tape and find it works perfectly for me. The sensor stays in place for more than 25 days It comes in different widths and is readily available on the Internet.

You’ve probably already tried rubbing an IV Prep pad on the site first? It puts down a plastic adhesive coating that helps tape stick to the skin better. Did you try Tegaderm? I know some “sweaters” that have had some success with it.