Seeking Recommendations for Oval Tape Alternatives

I need some recommendation for Oval tape alternatives for the Guardian CGM Sensor. I started using it in the spring of this year and the past three weeks (starting roughly August) I’ve broken out into extremely itchy hives. I think I may be alergic. I’ve been using the default Oval tape that comes with the sensors.

Do any of you know of any good alternative adhesives? I’ve got a sampler pack coming from Medtronic. It frustrates me to have to throw away so much money because I’ve started having bad reactions to the Oval tape. The transmitter adhesive and regular Medtronic Silhouette infusion adhesives don’t seem to bother me at all. It’s the Oval tape.

Has anyone else had a similar reaction? (Use it for a while and then suddenly have an alergic reaction)

I have sensitive skin and like Tegaderm and Hypaflex. They both work well for me.

Many of the overtapes I suspect use Benzoin as the sticky in their tapes. Personally, Benzoin gives me a crazy rash. Lately I have been using gum mastic based adhesives like Mastisol as a barrier adhesive and skipping the overtape.

I had a heck of a time with MM sensor retention. I tried IV3000’s, and that didn’t help a lot. Sweating was the bugaboo, for me. I have little issues with my Dexcom sensor, as it’s a lot different adhesive and combined with some Skin Tac at insertion time, it holds fast.

I used to use skin tac and iv3000’s for my medtronic pump maybe 10 years ago, however, i still use skin tac for my libre sensor, and even used it when it started to come off a little on the 12 or 13th day. You can find a 4 oz bottle that seems to last a pretty long time, but as far as allergies go, you’d have to try it.

We use opsite flexifix cut in an oval and applied beneath the sensor.

I also use skin prep and IV3000. Works well for me even when submerged such as swimming.

Opsite Flexifix. The best there is.

I have many allergies and atopic dermatitis and so have issues reacting to a lot of infusion sets and tapes. Allergies can happen at any time, and they need some prior exposure to happen, so not surpried you were fine for a while and then began reacting.

Unfortunately, with allergies you just need to experiment to find what works for you. I can’t use Tegaderm, IV3000, or Skin Tac—all of them make my skin way worse. I have found Hypafix and Opsite Flexifix tapes work well (Opsite is much stickier than Hypafix) and do not cause reactions. I also use Cavilon underneath my infusion sets and Dexcom sensors to create a barrier between my skin and the tape. And if I still react, Benadryl cream helps (once the site is removed). Some people have had luck spraying Flonase on their site, but I don’t find this makes much of a difference to me, and I also have concerns about constant use of steroids on my skin (it can cause skin to become thin).

I was about to start doing that same thing (placing something beneath the sensor) using the following:


Based on the picture, it is obviously not an appropriate replacement for the oval tape (the hole is too small), so whoever made it obviously had no idea what they were talking about, but I figured a small hole would make it good to go underneath the regular oval tape. I haven’t actually tried it yet, this will be the first time I am trying any modified taping methods, but when removing the tape started becoming more painful than falling out of bed and I could see a red tape area more distinct than if I had drawn it with a red marker, I knew I had to try something. I don’t know if this will cover the entire area that the tape did, but even if it reduces the area so that only the edges touch my skin it will be an improvement.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I’ve got a sampler of skin tac that I’m going to try out this weekend and see how it goes.

@njsokalski the grifgrip you referred to does actually fit the Dexcom G4/5 transmitters very well. Once the backing paper is taken off its a stretchy fabric. That will stretch far beyond the size of the transmitters if desired. I think however that you might have adhesion problems if you use it as an underlayment for your Dexcom. Grifgrips does make a style that is similar to a paper consistency, and it tears very easily while applying.

When you say that, do you mean for any CGM, or only Dexcom? I will be using it with the Medtronic Guardian 3 (which is physically the same size & shape as the Enlite, which is what it says on the label). When you say “adhesion problems”, do you mean problems with the GrifGrips sticking to my skin, or the Oval Tape & Guardian 3 sticking to the GridGrips?

@njsokalski I have no experience with the Guardian products at all. I do know that many of the GrifGrips products are made of a stretchy material that it would be hard for another product to adhere to if applied on top of the GrifGrip. I used for a very brief time the “paper” style GrifGrip as an underlayment and got ~3 days tops before the sensor fell off. I then tried Skin-Tac, the Smith & Nephews products and several others before realizing I was getting an allergic reaction from them. They adhered really well, but they were not worth the rash that followed. I then switched to the Ferndale Labs adhesive and no rash. Today I use the Ferndale Labs adhesive as an underlayment, apply the Dexcom transmitter, and then a GrifGrip with Dexcom cutout over everything. The GrifGrip adheres for 7-10 days, at which time I change that only. I average +30 days per Dexcom sensor/transmitter before skin adhesion becomes a problem.