Scars, rashes, itching and Omnipod vacation

I just got back from the dermatologist and she did a full body scan. I am continuing to have skin problems. I continue to break out and have rashes on my stomach, legs, and arms. Places where I’ve put the pods. She asked me if I’ve ever thought about doing Lantus instead. I see my endocrinologist in two weeks. I’ve talked to him before about this problems and the only thing they suggest is cortizone on the itch/rash. His nurse tells me to tell her what the dermatologist says.

Is a pump vacation a good idea? A1C is 7.5.

Have you tried using another kind of insulin? I know when the insulin analogs first came out they started me on Humalog and it worked find. For some reason they switched me to Novolog for a while and I was getting puffy rashes almost every shot. When I went back to the Humalog I was fine. We think I had some sort of allergic reaction to the insulin. That’s just my thought, if you used the same insulin pre-pump as you do now this probably isn’t the problem but it’s something else to consider.

Yikes. I would NOT want to go back on multiple daily injections. Do you think you could get coverage for a different kind of pump? Is it possible that your reaction is to the insulin and not the pod/adhesive? I have heard of some people having allergic reactions to one type of fast-acting insulin and then having success with a different one. As far as I know, Humalog, Novalog, and Apidra all work reasonably well with pumps. This is kind of a shot in the dark, but your situation sounds grim, so I thought I’d throw it out there just in case. Best of luck to you!

do you think it could be seasonal dry skin? my skin has been so itchy lately I went to Dermo and they said it was really really dry, so i started using Eucerin before I go to bed and Netrogena oil after I shower,…I can’t belive how much it’s helped the bumps and itching. I’ve also started using the humidifyer every day. I"m sure it’s not that simple, just thought i’d throw it out there. Here in NYC the dry heaters suck the moisture out of hair, skin, houseplants…everything!

I have what dermatologists like to call “hyper-sensitive” skin. allergens in the air irritate my skin on a regular basis. especially synthetic scents.
I don’t know if you have done this yet, but by eliminating, step by step, what COULD be causing the allergies, you should be able to find the cause.
Of course, this takes a lot of effort, and if you aren’t happy with the OmniPod in every other way, and going back to MDI doesn’t cause extreme stress/ absolute panic, perhaps it IS time for a break. Do a cost/benefit analysis of the pump for you, obviously that is the first thing you should consider: If I cannot solve this problem, Is the pump worth it? If I discover the allergen, is the discomfort of the pump worth the extra time required to figure out what is happening with my body?

If you DO decide to do a trial/error experiment, here is what I would do:

I would start by seeing if it is, in fact, the insulin. You seem pretty sure about this one, but still (I was SURE that my “free and clear” laundry detergent wasn’t giving me hives…I was wrong) Trying a saline pod would establish weather or not the insulin is the problem.
Try a pod with skin-prep wipes
Try a pod without skin prep wipes
Try a different kind of skin or IV prep
Try some sort of protective barrier
Try a daily allergy medication (obviously, If your doctor recommends it.)
Try different adhesive removers
Look at the ingredients of the adhesive, and perhaps your doctor could do a scratch test to see what is triggering the rashes.

There are a million things that could be causing the allergic reaction (even your skin not being fully exposed to air can cause rashes…)

I know that when I use the pod on the back of my arm, I get a rash because my dead skin cannot slough off while the pod is attached, so once the pod is moved, and my arm is allowed to breathe for a day, be showered and exfoliated, the rash disappears.

Best of luck!


We have been using Bag Balm on my daughter’s sites. We have had it in the house forvever, got it at CVS and it is actually made for use on cow’s utters. It is like vaseline, maybe thicker. We apply it nightly to all her spots and they heal up well. They are not completely gone but it has helped so much. The itching is still there when she first removes a pod but we apply it right away and we will continue to do so because it is the only thing that seems to work. The humidifier sounds like a good idea too.

The reason they check your drivers license is because pseudophedrine can be (basically) cooked down and used to make methamphetemines. Long term use for those who need it can be very beneficial. I take pseudophedrines, zyrtec, and an British medication called Avril for allergies. All of them work harmoniously with one another, and reduce my allergies to a bare minimum.

good luck with the betadine! My CDE gave me a little page of tips for reducing allergies when I started on the pod…I will check back on that to see if there is anything I forgot to mention…

Can you tolerate IV3000 without itching? My CDE told me you can put down IV3000 and then put the pod on it. The canula will penetrate the IV3000. You CANNOT put IV3000 under Dexcom however. The Dexcom sensor will not penetrate IV3000.


I’ve just read through the whole discussion and everyone has already given you all my ideas. Bradley’s idea of something between your skin and the pod seems worth a try…
Good luck…hope the prescriptions give you some relief.

I read on a different discussion (sorry I can’t tell you where), that it is perfectly okay to not use any skin prep before using a pod. The author said that even alcohol dries out the skin, and when you put the pod on top of that, you’re in for a world of hurt…or itch…or both! I’ve had a bit of an issue with itching too, so I decided to try the no alcohol method. The author of the discussion also said this is perfectly acceptable if you’re a daily shower-er. I have had less (but still a bit) itching.

nevermind. i’m sorry to hear that.

Erika, When my CDE suggested that I try putting the IV 3000 on my skin before putting on the pod, he never mentioned punching a hole in it first. I’ve put on the pods that way ever since and it seems to work just fine. I wish you the best of luck because I know you’ve had quite a time of it lately.

I was just talking to my CDE and she was telling me that many pumpers, omnipod or not, take breaks.

I know we all respond with a “woah…back to MDI? NO WAY!” reaction, but everyone needs breaks now and again.


Since my son stopped using alcohol to clean the site we have had little to no probelms with his skin. We just put the pod right on his skin with no prep. It has made a huge difference!!

That was probably my post and it has made a huge difference for my son. It still itches slightly but he says it is totally better. He still gets a little rash and bumps and we put that Cerve cream and behedryl on it betwwen changes and it heals up in a few days. Just in time for the next pod to be put in that spot!

Erika -

Sorry to hear this! I think what you will find is that almost all of the adhesives used in diabetes management are very similar. Whether it is your Dexcom or pump infusion. There are some that are different but you really need to inquire and not all companies have that option.
Lantus and Novolog / Humalog/ Apidra can do the trick. A little more of a PITA but is it really if it eliminates the issue at hand? Good luck in your process…

I think any office that’s ok with A1C’s of 8.0 is not interested in keeping you alive for very long. I’ve had my share of A1C struggles and my first one after getting my Omnipod went from a 6.4 to a 7.1 and I almost panicked. Instead of panicking though I insisted they allow me to get a CGMS too and my last result just came in dropping me from that 7.1 to a 6.0. :slight_smile: The Omnipod raised my A1C 'cause I stopped seeing as many terrible lows but it combined with my Dexcom has really helped me to get this under control. If it’s just your general practitioner and not your CDE (and you’re seeing a CDE regularly) that’s ok with the 8.0 then I wouldn’t worry about it because they’re not really in charge of your diabetes management. If the doctor doing most of the diabetes advising is ok with it then you have a problem.

An A1C of 8.0 corresponds to an average blood sugar of 207. If you like your endo for everything else and you have a CDE that’s keeping you in line then you’re ok. If your Endo is taking care of most of your diabetes decisions then it would make me nervous. A lot of people smoke too, that doesn’t make it healthy. You seem to know what you’re talking about and that’s what’s most important. If this really is the best Endo in the area then you’re best with them. But the attitude of 8.0 is ok scares me.