I Think That Dexcom Sensors "Die" Prematurely Because Of the Adhesive

Sorry if this is inappropriate… I am a very happy Dexcom G6 user and have extended the life of my sensors by using the various techniques that have been discovered (using XDrip + instead of the Dexcom app or “receiver”, tricking the Dexcom “receiver” into extending the sensor for another 10 day period etc).

I’ve found that my sensors weren’t lasting past 11 or 12 days before getting sensor errors which forced me to replace the sensor.

After I applied my last sensor, I used the Simpatch adhesive product for the Dexcom G6 which I bought from Amazon. I originally thought that $17.75 was a bit expensive for these adhesive patches, but I’ve found that these things keep the sensor glued to my belly much more effectively than any other tape or adhesive. I also noticed that I’ve gone 16 days since I replaced my sensor and the Dexcom app and XDrip + are still working perfectly with this really old sensor and still match finger-stick blood tests in accuracy.

I therefore am theorizing that a major cause of Dexcom G6 sensor failure is not that the sensor “probe” gets clogged or “wears out”, but rather that the adhesive is not keeping the “probe” embedded correctly which causes the sensor to fail…

I’ll test my theory with future sensors, but so far, I think that having the sensor adhesive stick correctly is the key to a very long and successful sensor life.

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@Fred_E If the Simpatch ever gives you trouble, you may want to try what I have used for six plus years now. Now I have Dex 5.

After showering and drying completely, I apply a 4" x 4 3/4" 3M Tegaderm transparent dressing to my belly, rotating between the far sides. Once that is on, I apply the sensor (no added glue to the sensor tape), keeping it vertical with the narrower end at the top. The Tegaderm stays on 9 out of 10 times without curling or pulling away and the Dex stays on as cleanly to the Tegaderm. I think it’s amazing really. The Tegaderm and Dex 99% of the time looks as good as it did the day I applied them, 21 plus days later. Every now and again I will have one that didn’t adhere as well, but still made it for 15 days.

If you’re using Dex on your arm, this would work too, as Tegaderm is thin and transparent.

I hope this helps!

Do a google/amazon search for:

3m Tegaderm Transparent Film Dressing 4" x 4.75"/Picture Frame Style/

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Try the FREE Dexcom overtapes. Order them from tech support–not sales.

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Thanks, I have issue just getting to 10 days! Please keep us updated on your results!

I forgot all about this! Thanks! I wonder why tech support gas not mentioned this to me in my last several calls informing them if the failures. :thinking:

Dex Tech Support never mentioned these to me. Ever. I have called them many times over the years on a variety of issues. I think I first heard of these over on FUD. I just called in yesterday (Dex Tech Support) to order a new pack as our previous 10-pack had run out. They do work good and do seem to add a couple days to the sensor life. However, I do believe that something changed on the sensor last year (2018) around summer with the G4/G5 sensors and which has carried over to the G6 sensors. IMHO the “sticky” issue is not the only problem.

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Tagaderm, I believe is the most expensive option. Free overtapes from Dexcom tech support are the cheapest as they are free and a lot of us use Flexifix Opsite which gives you more options and is just a fraction of the Tagaderm cost and should last at least as long. With Flexifix you get a huge roll where you can make a bottom patch to adhere to your skin and then apply sensor right through that patch and then make a donut patch to go over the sensor, or you can apply sensor directly to skin and then just make a donut patch to go over sensoe that is just about 1/4" bigger diameter than Dexcom sensor patch. It is clear, easy to prepare and apply and sticks wonderfully to clean, shaved skin. Here is a link to Amazon - You can get over 100 patches per roll so roll will last years.

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I tried Opsite, but I seem to be allergic to it, as I get a terrible rash :frowning:

Yes, I’m afraid of this, as so far, I’m 3 for 3 on G6 failures prior to 10 days :frowning: Hoping this is not the case though. Today, first full day on sensor #4, is so far so good, and very accurate.

Sorry - I should have mentioned that. Some people get a rash from Tagaderm, some from Opsite and some from other patches they have used so although it is a small investment, it is worthwhile to test different patches to see which one works best for you. I have very sensitive skin so am surprised Opsite has never given me a problem in the past few years I have used it.

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MHO the “sticky” issue is not the only problem.

I’m the original poster of this topic. I’m now on day 19 of a G6 sensor… No “Sensor Failures”… Still is in close proximity to my finger stick readings…

The current sensor that I’ve been “over-using” is from the same lot as my previous sensors and from the same shipment…

Prior to my using a better adhesive, I was lucky to get 11 days from a G6 sensor… Now I’m on day 19… That’s good enough evidence for me that the adhesive failure is the great part of the problem when sensors fail “early”…

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The “great part of the problem” … For You.
:slight_smile:

It is great you were able to resolve your issue.

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Buy some skin-tac liquid adhesive. I put that around the edge of the tape before applying the sensor. I swim and exercise a lot (sweaty) and at the end of 10 days it is still hard to peel off.

I’m the original poster of this discussion. Thanks to all who participated… I’m on day 21 of my G6 sensor and the Simpatch adhesive patch is starting to come off (I shower daily, so it’s been exposed to quite a bit of water and Dove soap). So far, the sensor is still performing perfectly!!!

Just wanted to let people know about the “life cycle” of the Simpatch. 21 days, and it starts to fail…