I know we are not supposed to cover dexcom transmitter part but I use opsite flexifix over my dexcom site including the transmitter to keep it totally dry and in place for usually around two weeks and have never had an issue. What do others do ??
I love Opsite Flexifix. I use it on my Dexcom but I use a punch (EK Tools classic tag punch) to punch a centre piece out the size of the Dexcom transmitter.
I usually cut around it. But sometimes I have put it over the entire thing.
I don’t like how it makes it all sticky though.
That, and it leave air gaps around the sensor.
I also use an Opsite Flexifix patch to tape down the edges of the sensor, but I usually make a cutout in the center of the patch to avoid covering the transmitter. When I first started down this path several years ago I was having problems with the Dexcom sensors staying on. I read a very helpful post on Amazon from someone else who used this tape, and they provided a set of recommended dimensions for the size of the tape to use and the dimensions of the cutout that worked for them.
I think the tape backing is marked in squares (about .2 inches each) which makes measuring and cutting really easy. I start with a roll of 2 inch tape. First, cut off a section of the tape that’s 16 squares long. Make a cutout in the middle of that patch that leaves 4 squares on each end in the long dimension, and about 2 squares on each side in the short direction. The hole fits very nicely over the transmitter and the sensor, and it overlaps the edge of the sensor adhesive just enough to keep it from peeling up.
A roll of the tape cost around $15, and lasts quite a long time. The tape probably doesn’t hold up well if you get it wet for an extended period, but for regular wear and tear (in the office, exercising, home gardening, etc.) it’s worked really well for me.
I like your idea of using the EK Tools classic tag punch … that sounds even easier than the manual cut I’ve been making.
I find Dexcom goes ‘crazy’ after a shower if I don’t cover the whole thing. Even though it’s waterproof.
When I first started with G4 I had some trouble when the connection got wet, so I started using Tegaderm over the transmitter and it worked well. Then I read a post where someone suggested placing the Dexcom vertically rather than horizontally and that somehow helped with the moisture issue. I went to a vertical placement, on top of the Tegaderm, no holes punched through and it’s worked perfectly for me. I’ve done it like this for years and I much prefer it to placing the Tegaderm over the transmitter because the Tegaderm lays flat rather than pillowy.
I like that idea. I’ll try that
Thanks for the info
We use opsite flexifix under the cgm sensors. We start with some skin Tac liquid followed by opsite flexi fix then sensor goes on top of that. Sensor needle punctures flexi fix when inserted. Sensors die on their own not because of coming loose. Works great for us.
Neither my wife nor I use any extra dressings with our G5’s. What we do is apply Skin Tac to our skin, using a “stencil” style template (to avoid getting skin tac where the sensor pierces the skin), hit the wet skin tac with a hair drier for a few moments and then apply the sensor. Sometimes after a week or so we may have to apply a bit more skin tac to an edge or two. I haven’t found transparent dressings from Dexcom worth a darn and I don’t like applying more bulky dressings. I’ve tried a few and they didn’t seem worth the effort/expense. Others will disagree.
I use something like skin tac. It’s a medical adhesive that I put directly on the sticky patch prior to inserting the sensor. It last for 2 weeks. I shower and occasionally swim with no issues. I do wear my sensor vertically on the back of my arm.
I have A LOT of problems with skin irritation, as well as keeping things stuck, so I have a complex system.
First, I use Benedryl gel on the skin where the CGM or pump site is going (and also on the old spot(s) that are probably still irritated), let it dry, then I use 3M Cavilon wipes (DO NOT use the cream, it will leave a residue that nothing will stick to! You can use the kind that comes in a bottle instead of wipes, but I find the wipes more convenient). Then I put down the dressing with no holes cut, though you may cut things to a smaller size. I put both CGM sensors and infusion sets on top of the dressing. They stick very well to the dressings and stay stuck well.
Now as far as dressings go, I have trouble with things staying stuck, and my skin is easily irritated by most. I used to use Tegaderm HP, but I started having more and more issues with irritation. I tried Flexifix and it irritated SLIGHTLY less, but it came off waaaaay to easy for me. I tried hydrocoloid dressings and they massively irritated my skin. Pretty much everything I have used has at least a little bit. Currently I am using Suprasorb F (can’t remember the manufacturer) for pump sites and Kendall Polyskin II for CGMs. The Polyskin is very flexible and very sticky even with lots of sweat in the summer, water, even some time in a hot tub, it has stayed stuck well for a week with no worry of it coming off or needing to be reinforced, and it has probably irritated my skin the least of everything. The only reason I don’t use it for pump sites is that it leaves some sticky stuff behind and since I have to change sites much more often than sensors, I don’t want to deal with removing the sticky stuff. The Suprasorb F sticks quite well and stays stuck well too, just not as well. It does irritate my skin a little more.
I also never cover the transmitter but do tape down the sensor when I first put it on. And I also put if vertical on arm. I don’t lose signal unless I’m past the 7 days. And I am seem to remember reading when I first started on Dexcom that you shouldn’t put anything over the top of the sensor. But your diabetes may vary!
I remember reading the same thing. I was having difficulty with the tape sticking and getting constant ??? after a shower or swim, I used a Tegaderm dressing “over” the entire sensor (transmitter and all) and it worked like a charm for years - no more ??? and no pulling up at the sides. As I mentioned above, once I came across a post about placing the sensor vertically, I tried with the Tegaderm under everything. It works very well and helps it stay on 21+ days.
I also have issues with allergies/reactions and have a detailed process similar to yours (though I don’t use an undertape, just Cavilon). My site prep kit includes Flonase spray, Cavilon cream, Emla cream, alcohol swabs, Skin Tac (which I react to, so I need to find an alternative), Hypafix tape, and Opsite Flexifix tape (the only two tapes I’ve found that I don’t react to). I have Benadryl cream as well, but I tend to use that after removing an itchy site (as well as Polysporin cream or steroid cream depending on how it feels).
I use the Cavilon cream and don’t generally have a problem with sticking as long as I let the cream dry for five or ten minutes before putting the site on.
As a side note, do you know whether using alcohol removes the Cavilon? I’ve struggled with this…and maybe the spray bottle and/or wipes would solve it, since I could then wipe with alcohol and not worry about subsequently touching the site with my fingers as I rubbed the cream around.
I tried the flonase and it did nothing for me sadly. And I tried Skin Tac, and like you it irritated me. The benedryl gel helps for me, though not perfect. Alcohol will remove the Cavilon, i often use it to remove it from my fingers.
I stay away from creams as they usually have some sort of oils in them, and that was what I experienced with the Cavilon cream. I have trouble getting things to stay stuck in the first place, so it definitely wasn’t helping. I find the regular Cavilon helps things stick kinda like Skin Tac. The good thing about the Benedryl gel instead of cream is that it is alcohol based so it cleans the area and also dries up pretty fast.
I don’t think it has much effect for me, either. I don’t use it currently but keep it around just in case.
Have you found another liquid adhesive that works wll for you? I’ve heard of people painting Skin Tac on top of the tape when it starts coming loose. I have tried this and it works wonders in making the tape stick, but for me it also causes irritation and the sensor or infusion set often dies within 24 hours (I suspect due to the irritation). I have heard of Mastisol, but I can’t find it available in individually-packaged wipes, which is part of what I like about Skin Tac. I tried Skin Prep once, and I don’t think it caused irritation, but it was also years ago, so I’m not sure.
I’ve ordered the Cavilon spray and wipes since my cream is almost used up, so if that acts sticky then maybe that’ll be a good solution.
Ironically, the only reason I had tried the Skin Tac was because people said it help with preventing irritation from the dressing adhesive. While it does help things stick, I find it quite messy and decided to avoid similar stuff.
Skin Prep and Cavilon are much the same thing, they are skin barriers, unlike Skin Tac which is an adhessive type thing. Cavilon works much better than Skin Prep in my opinion. Neither one is really sticky like Skin Tac, but I find they do help the dressings to stick better, just not as good as Skin Tac does.
Use it all the time - cover it completely - no issues