Should have paid attention

I’ve been hanging around this place for seven years now and I have always skipped through the topics on CGM’s. I didn’t have one and had no interest in one, but that has changed. Today I went to the doctor and she almost insisted that I start with a Libre system., she even gave me a reader and one sample sensor.

I am flying blind with this thing and have questions, I will keep it simple to start with. How do you keep it from falling off. I work outside in the heat and I am afraid that sweat will cause it to loosen. I know that there are skin preps one can use but which are the best.

Also I am a hairy man I suppose I must shave the application site like I do for my infusion sites.

Any practical experience for keeping my first sensor in place for ten days will be greatly appreciated.

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Be careful, Gary. Once you get hooked on watching your realtime blood glucose, it can be a difficult habit to break! :wink: I think these devices are one of the best educational tools to teach you about you. That’s if you want to pay attention, of course.

I recommend that you use hot water, soap, and a wash rag to thoroughly clean and scrub the prospective site. When you dry with a clean dry towel, slightly abrade your skin. Not to overdo it, just turn the skin slightly red.

I would then apply the Libre per directions and maybe paint some liquid Skin-Tac over the top and around the edges of the fabric bandage. If you use Skin-Tac, just don’t aggressively move or stretch the underlying skin while it dries.

There are many different over-taping techniques, and I’ve read many comments, but have not tried any of them. If you do a search LIbre flash glucose monitor and over-taping, I think you’ll be inundated with ideas.

I just read a long (read dozens of replies) on a Facebook group about this topic. Good luck!

Here’s one of dozens of threads here that explore getting devices to stick and stay:

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Here is link to a good information.

As for skin tac on the “fabric”, note it is a much smaller (1/4" inch) fabric perimeter, much smaller than dexcom, and I think stickier than dexcom. (Zoom in on the arm above for details.)

I did a free trial of libre, and found the stickiness of the sensor seemed stronger than dexcom, but could be different for you, Gary. I used it out of the box, with no additional stuff.

There are many adhesive patches that could cover the sensor, check amazon, or other users may suggest options.

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I find that with any of them, cleaning the skin with alcohol does the best. Takes off the oils, etc. As soon as it is dry, I apply the sensor, etc.

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My wife has one - once on they are almost impossible to get off - even after ten days - they stick that well

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I bought some Skintac when I first started using the Libre but I haven’t needed it yet. One thing I make sure to do while showering is NOT scrub at or over the sensor and now that I am using the Blucon device to extend my sensor to 14 days I still don’t have any problem with it coming off before I want it to and I work outside as well.

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I’ve had one sensor come off in the multiple months I’ve been using the Libre. That was the result of an unhappy collision of my arm with a door jam! In my early applications, I was putting the sensor more toward the side of my arm, rather than the back, so that change may be helping to avoid losing the sensor.

I don’t have any experience with really hot weather this year. We’ve had a cool Spring. So some workouts on a treadmill are the closest I’ve come.

Anyway a couple of thoughts: When I was following progress of the Libre in Europe before FDA approval, people were complaining of rashes and sensitivity to the adhesives. I’m not hearing that much now. So, it’s my guess that the adhesive formulation is an evolving process to optimize both adhesion and comfort.

My suggestion would be to start the sensor when you have a couple of days of indoor activities. That way, if it does come off, you’ll have at least some experience and know if you want to continue. Also, if you do have a sensor come off, Abbott is very accommodating with a replacement.

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While I have not been able to try my suggested Skin-Tac use here, I think it would still be beneficial. Even though there is only about 1/4 inch of bandage fabric on the Libre margin, one could paint Skin-Tac on that exposed fabric and the skin that surrounds it. The liquid Skin-Tac will siphon to a certain extent under the device. These dressings often begin to fail as the edges peel up. The idea is to prevent that initial peeling at the edge and prevent premature detachment. I’ve not tried it but I think it would help.

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Gary, I used the Libre for a few months, including sweaty activities and swimming in salt water. Initially I used a donut of Skintac and taped over the sensor. Eventually I discovered that the Libre adhesive works very well with no added steps. I had no adhesion issues when using Libre sensor straight out of the can.

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Hi there,

I’ve had my FSL for 8 months now and I’ve never had one fall off because of sweat or showering. The only ones that fell off were ripped off because I take my corners to shallow :joy: . If you’re worried about them falling off you can always use some KT tape when you think its getting a little loose or if you’re spending the day in the pool, etc.

In Canada we’re approved for 14 days wear, and it’s still really stuck on there for the 14 day. In fact I even need my hubby to rip it off for me (I’m a bit of a wimp).

Hope this helps!

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I use GrifGrips to keep my CGM (Dexcom) on, and they work really well (and I’m quite active). I tried medical tape, but it irritated my skin. I think waxing or shaving the site would probably help a lot.

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I’m hooked already.

I used Terrys suggestion for cleaning my site. I chose not to use any site prep or over taping because quite a few reported no adhesion issues. I am experimenting with this first free sample sensor. LOL If you are going to waste a sensor it might as be one that you didn’t pay for.

I started getting readings this morning at 8:30. Can anyone guess how many scans I have done so far… I have done six…OK eight but I had to show it off a couple of times. :crazy_face:

I can’t wait to start seeing trends, I have been fighting a bad case of DP forever. I hope this will help me figure it out.

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Gary, I had one fall off and 3 others hang on by very little adhesive after a week to the point I had to change them. I did get them replaced but I was told they (Abbot) would not do it again. I workout a fair bit and the sweat plays havoc on the adhesive (for me). I’ve used a couple of things but SkinTac seems to work the best for my situation. I reapply it twice over the 2 weeks to get the sensor to last the advertised time. IF you prepare the area right you should be ok. I’m testing a Dexcom right now to see if it’s any better. The Dexcom adhesive has a more exposed area to apply the SkinTac over time.

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When my physician first offered me the chance to try one it was a Libre Pro which was to stay on for fourteen days. I noticed that it was starting to peel off after about one week so I wrapped two inch Micropore tape around my arm to hold it on. When I finally got around to ordering and using the non “pro” version which is what we all use here in the United States I was all ready with some elastic stokinette. That was certainly more trouble than it was worth and turned out to be totally unnecessary. When the ten days were up I had to use a pocket knife to work it’s way under the adhesive to get it’s release started. I was impressed with how well it was still adhering to the back of my arm. For my second sensor I just HAD to try using an unapproved site. It is still there on my chest as I type this. I did have to shave some furr off first and I then placed a six inch strip of KT tape over it just to be safe. It will be a few more days before I can find out how well the adhesive has stuck there.

What I DID learn, though, is that the Libre values take a bit longer to equilibrate with my finger stick values. The Libre measures the glucose of the interstitial fluid which means that those values are just a little “behind” the values in the blood. I can live with that but I think I’ll go back to using the back of my arms now that I’ve performed my “experiment”. I guess the folks at Abbott know what they are doing.

I’ve been extremely pleased with the information I am now getting about what is happening to my blood sugar after all sorts of foods and activities. I’m not really a beginner at this since I’ve been a practicing diabetic now for over fifty five years. And for forty of those years I worked in medicine (I’m a retired cardiopulmonary perfusionist).

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I have been wearing the FSL for over two years and I love it. I wear it on the inside of my arm, which I find to be a perfect spot. I had ONE sensor come off from too much sweat in that entire time, but it was a ridiculously hot weather that week AND I went to two hot sweaty yoga classes. Otherwise no problems. I work out almost daily. Good luck! (I wrote about it for the NYT, look for my name and the story if you’d like to read.)

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I recently started using it as well and I am in Canada. Our sensors are good for 14 days. It’s been hot and I work out pretty intense daily and mine do start to peel off on day 3!
Skin Tac was suggested but I never tried it and they sell specific patches but I went to my local pharmacy and found a waterproof bandaid brand strip. It sticks pretty well, although I avoid soaking it under water just in case. I change the tape every few days by carefully taking it off so the sensor doesn’t lift with it.
I absolutely love the guilt free, no strip waisted scanning and it has shown me so many patterns I was not aware of. Such valuable information!
I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine.

I haven’t used the Libre, so no personal insight from me. However, this Diabetes educator says it’s the same as the Dexcom (which I use and never have had an issue sticking 14-20 days.) https://www.diabetesdaily.com/blog/libre-vs-dexcom-a-diabetes-educators-experience-519242/

I’m not convinced of the Libre being a CGM, and they’ve had some legal issues trying to do that. But YMMV.

To me, accuracy comes first, followed with using my Android phone as the meter, followed by the ability of my wife to track me real time, followed by only being down 2 hours for warm up every two weeks, followed by it being integrated with my Tandem T:Slim pump.

Also, I couldn’t put anything on my arm as it would get pulled off due to my after-hours hobby of working on cars. Not sure if the Libre works anywhere else. If so, great, but if not, then that would be my dealer breaker.

I just started me second sensor last night. I am happy to say that it was still firmly attached when I removed it, it seems my fears of early detachment were unfounded.

I will breathe easier with this second sensor but I will still keep an eye on it. Summer has only just begun in earnest here in Tennessee, it only gets hotter and more humid from here.

I am a non hairy woman (I only shave my legs once a season or so - it’s a family thing😊) but I’ve not lost a sensor in 2 years. I work in outback Queensland (Australia), and we almost had a wet season this past summer. It did get humid, if not actually rainy.
I cover my sensors with kinesiotape, because I practice aikido, which involves a lot of arm grabs, almost exactly where I put my sensor, but I probably wouldn’t need to if not for martial arts.
I put my sensors on by bending my arm directly up, as if to try and touch my shoulder blade. That gets it right at the back of my arm, and I don’t have the door frame issue that many people do.

I put my sensor in 24 hours before activating it to help it be more accurate from the start.

I don’t know how this would work for those who have a lot of hair on their arms, but I use Skin Tac liquid underneath sensor and patch, with a Simpatch on over it. I use a Simpatch (breathable cotton like patch) that covers the whole thing and use a paper punch to punch a quarter inch hole in it for where the hole in the sensor is, because that hole should not be covered. I like the ones that cover the whole thing because I feel it protects the sensor from being knocked off better than the ones that don’t cover it completely. It gives a smooth transition around the sensor so there is really not much chance of something, like a shirt coming off, snagging it or knocking it off and no worries it will be rubbed off while sleeping. Doing these things keep my sensor firmly attached for about 16 days with no problem. I also put my sensor more to the inside of my arm, to avoid it being bumped on things and to avoid laying on it while sleeping.

When taking it all off, I just slowly peel the patch off while holding the skin down right next to where I am peeling the patch, otherwise it hurts, but with holding the skin down, there is no pain. I then use Uni-solve liquid that I put on a cotton ball to remove the sensor and whatever sticky is left over. I just rub it all around the sensor where the adhesive is until it starts to come up, then I squeeze some Uni-solve under it and keep doing that until it comes off. Doesn’t take very long for it to just slide right off and using Uni-solve makes it so there are no marks on my skin when it comes off.

The Skin Tac and Uni-solve comes in liquid and wipes, but I think the liquids are cheaper and I feel easier to work with. I got all those things from Amazon.

The reader reads really low for me when I am under 100, which I usually am, so I prefer using the Android app Glimp over using the reader. The readings I get from Glimp are usually much closer to the readings I get from my meter, than the readings I get from the reader, especially in the lower ranges. That is the case even without calibrating it, but it can be calibrated if it isn’t giving readings as close to ones meter and they want it to. It has worked really well for me when I calibrate it. With Glimp I can start getting readings as soon as my sensor is activated, no 12 hour waiting period those of us in the US have, and I get readings for 14 days. I also really love the larger, interactive graph Glimp has as it is much more informative than the graph on the reader. It lets you get the exact level you were at for any specific time in the past just by touching the screen on the phone for that specific time, which I think is very helpful. Glimp has many other great features too, including giving your standard deviation and estimated A1c and hourly averages. To get those hourly averages, you just touch the categories of morning, afternoon, etc, and they will drop down, but if you have it set to the dark theme, you have to switch it back to the light one to see those hourly averages since they didn’t change the color of the font for those, so it is black on black, lol.

I use the reader for quick general readings, mostly just to see if I am holding steady or rising or dropping as the trends do seem accurate for me, but I rely on Glimp for my actual readings. In my opinion, Glimp makes Libre awesome.

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