IV prep (Antiseptic wipes) vs. Alcohol Swabs

I have kind of a weird question I suppose. I am switching pumps, going from the Animas over to the Omnipod. Anyway, I was just wondering if the IV prep really does a far better job of keeping the sites on versus the alcohol swabs?? I almost never really swab myself with anything since I change my sites when I come out of the shower, so I was just wondering if the IV prep was really just another necessary thing to add to my diabetic grocery list when I get new supplies for the Omnipod! :slight_smile: Thank you!

I don’t know if I’ve noticed a difference in adhesion, but I notice a difference in irritation. If I use alcohol swabs because I am out of IV prep, the site gets red and itchy much faster than it does with the IV Prep swabs. Whatever is in the IV Prep forms a barrier between the adhesive and my skin, making it more comfortable to wear for a longer period of time.


I’ve never used alcohol swabs, I’ve always used the IV prep, but it definitely does help – there have been a couple of times I’ve forgotten to use it and the site came off my son pretty quickly, even with the IV hand plastic covering on top of it.

They absolutely do make the sites stick better! When I use the IV preps on my son, we have a difficult time pulling the site off without using Unisolve around the site first. However, when we use just alcohol swabs, there have been time where the site falls off, gets snagged and pulled off easily, and I can take it off just as easily as taking off a band-aid, without using unisolve or anything of the sort. We usually only need to use IV Preps and stuff like that during the summer months though (unless he signs up for some kind of sport), mostly because he tends to sweat so much, the normal adhesive on the sites dont stay stuck very well. We use the Animas Ping, btw.

I will say this much though. If you have sensitive skin, be careful. I hear some complants in the DOC about IV Prep causing irritations… then again, I hear the same complaints regarding some sites too.

I have extremely sensitive skin and have a problem with Skin Prep but not IV Prep, so I agree that you might need to check out various brands if something is irritating to your skin. Wow. I’ve never had to use Unisolve to remove a site, even with IV Prep. I have used it to remove residue left behind by additional tape or Tegaderm I put over my sites, but not to actually remove it. I also use an Animas pump, but a 1250.

We use the Unisolve to remove the sites on my 5 yr old T1 son, because otherwise, he says it hurts too much to rip it off like I would a band-aid. It works great! We just put it around the adhesive part of the site to moisten it. then once its moistened, it comes right off with no problems, no ouchies!

IV Preps make my skin really dry. I am just using alcohol now, but I don’t have any issues with infusion sets sticking. IV Prep offers more stickiness than alcohol swabs. I have heard that some people prefer Skin Prep to IV Prep.

I was told to use both. First the alcohol swab and then after it dries I use the IV prep. I have noticed that when I do not use both of them the site does not stick as well. I have not noticed any difference when I use the skin preps.

Hm, i wonder if she told you that because maybe the adhesive stuff they use on the Omnipod is a stronger adhesive than on some other sites, like Animas? That is interesting!

@Unicornzzz… yep, thats what we do too when we use the IV Prep in the summertime. Alcohol swab first, then IV prep.

Yeah, my son’s endo is also T1 as well. They told us we “could” use the IV Prep (but then again, were using the Animas PING), but that we dont have to if we find that the site stick well enough for us. She uses a diff pump than we do though (though, not the omnipod either lol). Only time I ever use them is either if he is participating in a sport, or during the summer months. That seems to be when he sweats the most, and the sites tend to fall off most frequently.

Yes, please do find out! I’d be interested to hear her opinion on it!

Hi, for about 3 out of the 7 years I’ve been on the pump, I’ve been using both. I use the alcohol pad, let it dry. Then I use the IV Prep over that let it dry & insert. This is because I was working out & the sweat was making the site area lose it’s sticking ability. I don’t even remember who told me to try this but it worked!

Michelle, why would they send IV prep or alcohol swabs to people who switch to the OmniPod? I’ve been on the pods since 12/07 and they have never sent me anything other than the starter kit, new PDM, and pods. I don’t use anything under the pods, just slap them on, and I’ve never had a problem.

I think the adhesive is better now than when I first started on the pods. I used to put Skin Tac around the adhesive when it would come loose, but haven’t had to in a long time. I only put the pods on my arms now, they come off pain free. When I put them on my back or upper butt, it would hurt like hell to take them off.

In the past, I have always used IV prep wipes. The OmniPod rep I worked with didn’t explicitly tell me not to use them, but I could tell she wasn’t a fan. She suggested this product instead: http://www.torbot.com/ecom/product/featured/70/. Not sure what the difference is.