Has anyone gotten a bad rash from the adhesives?

I’ve been on the sensor since April and now, 6 months later, I’m getting a rash where my adhesive is located. I keep one sensor in for 6 to 7 days (that is as long as they last). Once I remove the adhesive and sensor the rash will lasts for about a week. I haven’t changed my routine of Mastisol and Tegaderm dressing. Plus all of the cortisone creams do not work. Thanks for your help.

Totally! Read this post: http://www.diabetesmine.com/2008/07/medical-adhesives-my-allergy-hell.html

And check out all the great tips in the comment replies.


Yes, totally. Not that I have anything to contribute on getting rid of said rash. Just thought I’d add to the chorus of those who have adhesive rashes. I look like some fish has been sucking on the middle part of my body for a while.

I have been pumping for 14 years and have always been sensitive to the adhesives. I have used skin prep wipes (sensitive skin formula) NOT IV PREP to create a barrier between my skin and the adhesive. This seems to do the trick for me, but every once in a while the itchiness flares up, especially when I notice that I get histamine bumps from exercising. I have been taking claritin, and it has helped tremendously. It just seems to calm it all down. I just started using sensors and they said not to use a barrier under the adhesive, so I don’t, but use the skin prep where I apply the tegaderm to cover the sensor. (minimed) Seems ok so far.

Yes, I do and have not been able to eliminate it 100% of the time. I went to my dermatologist and was informed which adhesives are better for sensitive skin (paper tape, for example). However, the stuff that is nice to your skin seldom does what you need it for…staying in place. The dermatologist was able to prescribe skin preps that work well. One comes in spray form and another in a mousse form (just like hair mousse). Either of these are used alone to prep the skin prior to inserting the sensor. They do work well in supressing your immune system which cuts down on the allergic reaction to the adhesive that I then use. I have found the following adhesives work the best, but never 100%:

Skin Prep to be used before insertion:

Clobex spray by Galderma (www.clobex.com) This is prescription only

or you can use one of the following prescription only foams. I got all at once from my dermatologist…each more powerful than the next:

Verdeso desonide foam

Luxiq betamethasone valerate foam

Olux-E clobetasol propionate foam

After prepping the skin and inserting sensor and transmitter, I use one of the following to hold everything down:

Hypafix dressing retention sheet by Smith & Nephew

Coloplast Comfeel film transparent adhesive dressing (www.mountainside-medical.com)

I hope this helps. Here are a couple photos of typical skin irritations caused by two different adhesives I used before learning about the items above. The adhesive patches I used in the photos were for sensitive skin, but apparently my skin needed something prescription strength. If you are like me, perhaps a visit to the dermatologist might help.
8315-IMG_0243.JPG (82.3 KB)
8316-IMG_0413.JPG (103 KB)

This post is not as “high quality” as some other ones-- I don’t have this problem myself, and never use tape underneath my Dexcom Sensors. (Or on top either, of course.)

But I’ve heard a lot of people saying that they, or their kids, are a lot less sensitive to ‘OpSite Flexifix’ than they are to Tegaderm. (One of Amy’s guest comments, “Beth” on July 14, reported good luck with this one.)

Now I totally don’t understand the role of Mastisol in this, so I want to gently double-check on one thing: I think that all of your reply posters are taking for granted that the Tegaderm is going UNDERNEATH the Minimed adhesive pad, with just a tiny hole for where the wire will be shot in, right?

That’s how it needs to be done-- something UNDER the Minimed pad. If you’re using Tegaderm only on top, and Minimed+Mastisol against your skin, that’s the whole problem right there.

If the Tegaderm is underneath, the “right” way already, and you’re using Mastisol to re-stick failing Tegaderm, that makes ANOTHER reason to give OpSite Flexifix a try (it might hold better, too).

Last note: A lot of people say that they two inch width isn’t enough to hold really well, they’re all buying the 4" and triming down to size from that roll.

And again, I’m the only poster here who DOESN’T have this problem-- give more credence to the others!

No doubt you are allergic to the adhesive. During the month I wore a CGMS it was one of the drawbacks. The adhesive was itchy and the skin would stay red for some time after removal. When I did remove it, it felt like a huge relief to be free of it. I knew going in that I was somewhat allergic to the adjesive on bandaids due to testing done at Mayo Clinic to get to the bottom of what had been decades of eczema (now gone). Best of luck, Jan

I get rashes from adhesives, too. I stopped using the CGM because of inaccurate blood glucose readings, but I get rashes from the pump adhesives. I even get rashed from bandaids! Best cream to help stop itch I’ve found is Itch-X. For me, it helps to use Bard Prep before the adhesive. Sometimes it helps to change the type of adhesive you use for a while.

I am allergic to most adhesives. I have found that short term does not bother me. But the longer its on, the worse reaction my skin has had. I use an I V Prep to put a layer between the adhesive and my skin. It makes the cannula stick better. It works for me. The are made by Smith & Nephew product # 59421200. I get them from Minimed. www.minimed.com My insurance will not pay for them but they are only 12 bucks. Good luck.

Vicki, my experience is different than yours. “I.V. Prep”, #59421200, quickly creates a red rash as I rub it in (per the instructions, for antiseptic reasons). Then it’s OK for a few days, but then it starts getting itchy after day about day 5.

But S&N “Skin Prep”, #420400, which is made for longer term use, seems much more gentle on my skin. AND it’s more effective at helping the Dexcom adhesive tape stay put! It allows my Dexcom Sensors to stay on for the full 12-14 days with no irritation at all.

IIRC, Minimed sells only IV Prep-- it’s kind of a catch-all product, for both Sensors and everyday infusion sets. To find “Skin Prep”, you need to go online (Allegro Medical has it).

Just tried a new product by ReliaMed called Transparent Thin Film IV Site Dressing. I’ve had bad reactions to Tagaderm, Paper Tape and many other adhesives and this had been working great for me. My pump supplier (Edgepark Medical) sent me samples to try and now I can’t use my CGM without it. No rashes, no itching, it’s great!

i had a similar issue, and also using it for 6 or so days - this is what i now do, and the rash is much less than waht it once was:

here’s what i do:
insert sensor (but don’t stick down the back piece of tape)
cover the area with skin tac
let it dry, then stick down the back piece of tape
put down a small piece of gauze (a 2x2" cut in 1/4ths) or a piece of cotton, just something to absorb any sweat or water that may seep in
connect transmitter, then cover the whole thing with tegaderm

i’ve also found that it helps if you shave the area (even if you aren’t applying it to a hairy area, running a razor over the area helps get rid of the fine hairs that will otherwise prevent you from getting a good seal)

something else that helps - try cutting a second piece of tegaderm in 1/2, and putting a square over the white “tail” of the sensor - you want something large enough that gives a barrier between your skin and the transmitter - i’ve found that the biggest cause of my rash easn’t from the adhesive itself, but from the salty sweat combined with friction from the transmitter.
i no longer use my abdomen (because it’s kind of squishy, and moves around a lot) - i prefer the back of my arm (get a friend to help insert) or my upper thigh, these areas don’t bend and move as much as your abdomen.

i’ve also heard of people being allergic to tegaderm, but not a very similar product, IV 3000 (by 3M) - it might be worth a shot

I use the Nexcare tape and after a few days it starts to pull. I do get rashes. But the Nexcare tape has stayed on the best and especially in water.


Geoffrey, thanks for great post.

I completely forgot about that Minimed-unique problem in my post: With Minimed, protect your skin from the rubbing clamshell!