New to CGM/Dexcom G4 - HELP please!

My son is getting his first CGM & it's on the way. First, I read on a thread (that I can't seem to find) that we need special tape to help hold/keep the sensor down. And I also read that a numbing cream is also a good idea before inserting the sensor. What brand(s) do you think work the best? Thanks! Any other advice or tips are much appreciated. :)

I have never used any special tape although I try not to get the sensor tape wet that often. I cover it when I shower and I am not a swimmer. I usually get over 2 weeks out of it. I place the sensor on my abdomen and try to find an area with the most subcutaneous fat, but also not too close to my ribs because when I sit it can hit them and it seems to affect accuracy. Kids are probably more lean in the middle. Putting in the sensor doesn't seem to bother me, but a few times I've had trouble taking off the plastic piece and have had to wrench around the sensor a bit which made it sore. I've had some bleeding too, but this didn't affect the accuracy or make it hurt more. I've always wondered now long the needle actually is, but you can't really tell from the inserter, so don't go there. The directions are pretty clear. Just familiarize yourself with them, keep a steady hand, and do it quickly. You'll be just fine. Also the accuracy is off for the first 24-48 hours so you'll have to test to make sure it is getting on track. You can add extra BG readings in if it is over 20% off. Remember it is 10 minutes behind the finger stick reading.
Good luck. It is really helpful, but not perfect yet.

What do you use to cover it when you shower? Also, if it bleeds during insertion do you stop & move to another place or just keep going? Or will it bleed after you insert it?? I think we have a lot to learn. TY for your information. :)

It doesn't usually bleed at all. I must have hit a capillary and I just kept going. This has only happened to me twice and I didn't even notice it bled until I was done. Do not let that freak you out. I knew you were going to ask me about what I cover it with. ;-) You know those rollers you use to get dog hair off you? I use a few sheets of them. I fold one in quarters so the sensor is protected from the sticky tape part and put a few over it. It's cheap and has worked for me, but I take quick showers and this wouldn't work for baths or swimming. I'm sure there's another type of product out there. This was what I had on hand one day. I have two golden retrievers so these are all over my house. There's a CGM group on here that has tons of info. Join it too and get lots of input on people's experiences. You will get comfortable quickly.

Yes, we have those rollers around the house - that is FUNNY! But if it works, it works. TY :)

Opsite Flexfix is awesome tape for sensors, infusion sites and anything else. I've gone for long runs in the summer and come home and used a lancet to drain sweat out of the bubble around the sensor (I have the Medtronic one, I dunno if it's rated to be waterproof but it survived the warranty period...) while the tape held it down. It's strong stuff!

I think I'm going to get some Flexfix to have around just in case. We'll see how it goes without it at first. TY

Even if you end up not needing it, I recommend having Opsite on hand incase. Usually, I get 2-3 days with a Dex sensor before the edges start pulling away, and I put the Opsite on then. I think the numbing cream is a varying thing. I've read some kiddos using it, others not. You might try putting cold ice over the insertion area for a few minutes to start. I don't think I've read as many of the young ones needing numbing cream for the Dex in general.

Good luck with your sons new G4!

With the Dexcom, it is small and light enough you do not need to tape it down after inserting. It is almost painless with insertion. I am very active, rough on my sensor and pump infusion site. I have found that if I will tape a piece of gauze over the site(s) and it seems to help me not pull (bump) them out. I will use skin tac after I insert - not before as it can affect the sensor needle. I will use the skin tac to soak the sensor tape on the outside afterwards, it seems to help as I get between 12 and 14 days usually without the tape peeling. Bleeding is usually none with Dexcom. If so, do not remove the sensor - cannot reinsert so its trash. If there is bleeding, it usually resolves itself and is fine. I will ice the area before I insert, because I think it does help to decrease the chance of bleeding and also it prevents the little stick from the insertion. Ice cube, prep site as usual (alcohol wipe), and let dry totally before insertion! Mastisol is another really sticky stuff I will use a q-tip to "paint" the outside of the tape if it begins to peel. Showers I never cover it with anything - just don't scrub to hard around the site as I have caught one with the washcloth and yanked it out! Mine is well past the warrenty and still going strong. I haven't done much swimming with it, but then I would put a piece of Opsite Flexfix over it - more so to prevent a sensor from falling out and me losing it than to protect it from the water. The flexfix tape sticks solid to the sensor, so try to put something inbetween it and the tape to make tape removal afterwards easier and you don't pull the sensor out. Good luck! I love my Dex - it's not perfect but boy does it make it so much easier to keep my sugars in control!

Thanks! I am getting such great responses from everyone. We may just skip the numbing cream & go with ice then. I will be buying the Opsite Flexfix as we live in South Florida and do go to the beach on occasion (wouldn't want it to come off there!).

I'm also a fan of Opsite Flexfix, but I generally don't use until the 2nd week that I'm on the sensor. At that time, the edges of the tape holding down the sensor start to come up. Flexfix holds the sensor down for an additional week.

Skin Tac Wipe by Torbort group is a great product. I contacted the manufacturer and they instructed me how to use it with Dexcom sensors. Instead of applying it to the skin, where it could interfere with the sensor, they suggested that I apply it to the sticky side of the sensor tape, once the paper backing was removed. Then, I would wait about 30 seconds before applying the sensor to my skin. The portion of the sensor that penetrates the skin never comes in contact with the Skin Tac.

I've also found, that placing the sensor on my shoulder, where the skin is smooth, stops the edges from coming up. There are several videos online on how people do this. I don't have the dexterity to do it myself, so my wife helps. The arm also happens to be less painful.

Good luck,


I'm pretty active and I sweat a lot. You sho

Great idea in applying Skin Tac to the adhesive side of the Dexcom sensor. That seems to be a much better method than applying Skin Tac to the skin while leaving a small donut patch clean for the sensor insertion. I will try your method at my next site change. It looks like a keeper!

A shoulder seems kind of bony for any sensor placement. Where exactly do you mean?

You can also see the Flexfix tape in the picture, which another person has to apply


I was told "tummy only" but have heard that it also works well on the back of the arm (that's more the side). Plus, that's a lot more Flexfix tape than I was thinking ... thanks for the picture!

They just called and Kyle's CGM was mailed today! And we will have it by Wednesday! There was a delay because the insurance co. didn't also authorize the sensors. CRAZY! But, we're excited!

I've been using Dex7 for 18 months, and lately have used my arms the most. Compared to the picture previously posted, I put it a bit lower and in the fleshy part towards the backside of my arm. If you haven't seen it yet, here's a youtube showing inserting on arm of a young child. This is more similar to the location I use, although I usually direct the insertion pointed downward, but both ways have worked fine.

I usually don't use any tape until the 2nd week, and then use IV3000 if needed, more so in the summer time. In a pinch, I have also used paper first aid tape or bandaids.

There is also a Dexcom Group with more info on Dex Gen4 and many good discussions.

I can't stop crying! That cute little boy in the video is SO brave. I didn't realize it will be such a quick insertion (that will make it easier on both of us). Well, that gives me a good idea of where to put it on the back of the arm. Thanks.

I am getting my Dex4 CGM either tomorrow or Tuesday so I have read with interest all the posts. I already got the Opsite tape on a suggestion from some people here. The cheapest place I found with their help was the 4" x 11 yards roll is 18.95 plus shipping, I ended up just buying a couple of rolls because I have heard that will last me forever. Good luck to you, I liked that video with the little boy too.

Thanks, I was JUST comparing sites to find the cheapest. :)

I'd be interested in hearing more about your experiences. I just started my first G4 sensor about an hour ago. The tape seems identical to the Dexcom 7+, so I don't think that you'll need any extra tape. (I typically got 1-2 weeks out of my 7+ sensors before they began to peel and I am very active -run, hike or cross-country ski every day.)I guess that some folks who either sweat and/or produce more oils on their skin may require the added tape. Bob