Sensor tape losing tackiness quickly

can anyone give me hints on how to make the sensor tape stick to me better/longer? I only inserted a new sensor today and the tape is already peeling off! I don’t sweat much, don’t work out hard, or anything like that. My Omnipod pod sticks to me like glue- why does the Seven Plus sensor tape come off so easily? Please help! Thanks!

Everyone’s body chemistry is so different. It’s such a pain. One thing I’ve noticed, hope it doesn’t sound weird, but I make sure to put on my sensor or pump BEFORE taking a shower. I find that they stick better before I get all soaped up and clean. Could just be me though…Good luck.

Marina, there’s LOTS of discussion on this very topic during the last few days. But I’ll try to summarize the three solutions. I personally use two of them, together.

I find S&N “Skin Prep” makes a big improvement in life of the adhesive pad, and it’s ultra-easy to use. (NOT “IV-Prep”, Skin Prep acts very differently). Like skin prepr or plain alcohol wipes, it comes in single use foil wrappers. Wipe your skin “target area”, then dry completely (maybe use a hairdryer to assist). Then wipe again, dry again, and push the new Dexy down. Try to avoid unwanted kinks in the pad-- Maybe (hint, hint) bend up the two long sides before putting the actual Sensor down in the middle of the target area, then pressing the two flaps down with your fingers, going outwards from the Transmitter/Sensor housing. Press the pad firmly into your pre-treated skin.

This all takes a mere 40 extra seconds, and for me, provides significantly reduced irritation (as well as the adhesive improvement.) I’m extremely active AND sweaty. Right around day 12, I usually get curled up edges, and then I use the old standby “Mastisol” to re-stick any curling edges. (The trick to Mastisol is to make sure it’s TOTALLY dry on both sides, skin and pad, before you stick them together. If you make the common error of pressing together while either side is still partly wet, it absolutely won’t work.) One Mastisol application nearly always lasts for the rest of the Sensors’s life, typically 16-19 days for me. Usually, if the mastisol fails, I declare “new sensor time” right then, even if I maybe could have gotten another day or two out of it. Mastisol is stinky and unpleasant, and WILL stick your fingers together. I use throw- away q-tips to keep the dripping and targeting of the liquid under better control. (The bottle’s own nozzle CAN’T be used to apply the stuff in an evenly-spread, well-controlled way-- apply to the end of the q-tip, wipe on what you collected, then re-load the q-tip from the bottle as needed).

At a more “involved” level of work and cost, lots of people use a Tegaderm (or IV-3000, or Flexifix) underneath the entire Sensor pad. But of course, you need to cut out a small hole for the area where the insertion needle and wire go in. (The inserter can’t punch through these adhesive pads, the Sensor wire will nearly always become bent. Don’t even try without a little “window” cut into the pad.)

Most recent dscussion is within the Dexcom users area: Not a specific discussion, the “comment wall” at the bottom of the whole area:

We just inserted our first sensor yesterday. The Dexcom Rep used a Skin Tac wipe to wipe carefully around the edges of the tape, avoiding anything near the sensor. That is supposed to work well. If sensor loosens a bit, you can then use a bit of liquid Skin Tac, around the very edges of the tape and carefully work it a bit forward. Avoid the sensor area or any possibility of Skin Tac getting near the sensor. The Rep also told us we could cover with IV Prep 3000 tape, first cutting a hole over the part for the sensor to stick through.

I am cleaning my sugar real estate with an alcohol swab and then I use one of my IV Prep swabs (given to me by my Animas Ping supplier) to prep the area. After inserting my Sensor, I use the IV 3000 with Frame Delivery (also given to me by my Animas friends) and cut this into four equal pieces. I then tape each side of my Dex to my skin. This is my second week with a CGM; but, I found that by day 7 the edges of my Dex tape were peeling; and, quite frankly I had no idea what the IV 3000 “thingy’s” were? Animas sent them too me with my Pump “starter” kit with NO instruction. Thank GOD for You Tube and Tu Diabetes!

Jan, you lost me strange wording: “IV Prep 3000 tape”. “I.V. Prep” and “I.V. 3000” exist, but there’s no such thing as IV Prep 3000". As I described above – I have the impression that most PWDs who have tried both “IV 3000” AND “flexifix” for Sensor attachment like flexifix better. FlexiFix also comes in long rolls, much cheaper to buy and also far easier to trim for fitting to Dexcom’s oddly shaped Sensor pad.

Get the 4-inch wide roll, the 2-in wide doesn’t quite do the job. But I’ve never needed any of these things. Skin-Prep plus (usually) one round of Mastisol “touch up” on day 12 or 13. Liquid Skin-Tac might be just as good as Mastisol, and certainly costs way less money. (Maybe this doesn’t really matter: My first bottle is less than half used, after 3+ years). Mastisol tends to strip away the stripping “adhesive gunk” from the lose pad edge, as well as your skin, when the edge has gone ratty. That’s very helpful – does Skin Tac do the same?

I don’t like a coupl eof the things you described here, though. First, this bit about “wipe carefully around the edges” to avoid the Sensor area is a hassle, compared to Skin-Prep the over the entire area (including the insertion target), as I do. And second, I don’t like wearing “extra glue” when I don’t have to. DexRep puts the Skin Tac on immediately, while the Skin-Prep treatment allows me to get by with NOTHING extra for well over 10 days, every time.


I’m glad you find my advice! Alcohol swab plus “IV Prep” is simply redundant: Their both disinfectants (and in fact, “IV Prep” is a 70% IPA disinfectant wipe, with just some small amounts of other stuff added).

Throw away the handed-out-for-free IV Prep pads. After a proper wash with scrubbing, and drying with an absolutely clean (fresh only!) towel, use Skin-Prep instead (instructions above). I think you’ll be amazed at the improvement in Dexcom tape edge lifespan, and maybe even more amazed at the protection from allergic response. Skin-Prep helps the pad adhesive stick to the thin layer of Skin-Prep, keeping it away from your skin.

thank you so much for the advice! can you get skin prep locally or do you have to buy from a Diabetes supplier online?

Hi Marine - I put waterproof tape (found in bandage section in store) on top of the tape portion of the sensor, making sure I do not cover the sensor. It is fine for th eshower and even a swimming pool.

Hey, Rick, we are only on our second sensor, LOL. That is what the Rep did for our first one, wipe Skin tac around the edges of the outside of the sensor tape, and she told us we could put IV 3000 dressing over it (cutting a hole for the sensor). It did seem to come a little loose around the edges and I did put the IV 3000 over it. Now our second sensor, we are on Day 5, water seemed to get under the tape during her shower and the edges were lifting up. I applied a new Skin tac wipe to the skin and tried to press it back down again to no avail. Only other choice we have on hand is the IV 3000 dressing, and that is holding in on so far. If she takes another shower, I think the game will be all over. Don’t have Skin Prep, but will definitely ask for some.

IV Prep, doesn’t that also have, in addition to alcohol, a sticky sort of substance? I can feel a slight tackiness after wiping. The Prep helps hold the infusion set, helps adhere. It is not as sticky as the Skin
Tac, just slightly so. I will have to look for the Skin Prep. Who should I order it from Edgepark or Medco? The IV Dressing and Skin Tac just barely hold. So far, we have changed the first one on Day 10 and second one
Day 7. Her skin looks good after removal, like a pump set. P.S. She no longer uses EMLA, feels no pain at all. Says it feels just like the pump sites.

Just lost a beautifully working 10 day old sensor, Grrr. DN pulled it off accidentally and it was hanging by a thread. Did not have the IV 3000 dressing over it, but used the skin tac putting it on. Waiting for our Oppsite Flexifix order (thank you, Rick!). Getting totally spoiled with Dex restarts, just once every seven days. I’m pretty sure we would have gotten another week out of this one if we had secured it properly. But since she does not feel Dex insertion is any worse than a site change, changing Dex is no biggie. And that’s another HUGE plus.

Jan, what is the reason to go longer than 7 days?

I’m not sure about expecting a full two weeks in an active young teen. When they fail, they go pretty quick-- so discard at the first hint of extended “fuzziness”, or failure to take a calibration and show a reading quickly. (Give it just TWO chances to show values which properly correspond to the entered bG calibration data after “???” occurs, then replace.)

For Helmut: You forgot, here in the USA we have gazillions of Insurance Companies, most of whom will outright “deny” any coverage to a diabetic person like me. (No insurance coverage, not at ANY price.) So, when we are lucky enough to link up with one which will allow us to buy their insurance, most of us try to keep our expenses as low as we can-- so that the Company which stands with us doesn’t get wiped out by the all the $%^&* companies which make obscene profits by denying coverage for such treatments.

I’ve been a very aggressive advocate for CGMS with my own insurance company, helping several other people win coverage too. But once we have the coverage, most of us try very hard to keep our expenses as low as we can.

Go longer than seven days because if we have a sensor that is reading really well, we are hesitant to remove it. Generally, the first day the sensor does not read well. After that, we still do not have 90 percent coverage, I would say about 75 percent of the time Dex readings are within 20 points. We can have question marks for an hour or two or Dex may be way off. This sensor was reading really well. If the sensor is reading, I don’t see a reason to change it out, just because it is Day 7. We would probably pull it on Day 14 regardless, not leave it in too long because of possible infection. We got 10 days out of our first sensor, but it did not read well like this last one. I know Dex is trying to get FDA clearance for the sensor for 10 days. A lot of people get many more days out of a sensor.

For us it is an insurance issue also. If DN’s Mom changes jobs at some point, she may have a different insurance company. We had to fight to get the sensors, but they are not covered by most insurance. But to pull a perfectly working sensor on Day 7 does not seem sensible. Particularly since not all sensors read as well (of course, we are new to this and discrepancies may be due to insertion technique, placement, taping, etc). We have been getting 9 or 10 days out of them. This one was working beautifully and it only came off because of taping. I had not put IV 3000 dressing over it in the middle of the week. Order in for Opsite flexifix and that should solve that problem. Of course we will pull if it no longer works. We had gotten 12 days out of one of the Minimed sensors. I would never go longer than two weeks because of possible infection. But after ten days, Dex leaves less of a mark on her skin than her pump sites, which we only leave in three days.

I am having good luck with 3-Ms 3-inch Medipore tape. It is porous and does not cause any skin irritation. I simply apply a short strip of it over the sensor/transmitter unit after I have inserted the new sensor and it keeps the sensor/transmitter safely in place for two weeks or more. It is also waterproof. Your pharmacy should be abl;e to order the Medipore tape for you.