Skin prep

Is it true you can not put the sensor needle through skin prep?

I have always been told not to, though I have seen postings somewhere of people that will insert through skin prep and claim to not have a problem. Personally, I figure why tempt fate - the sensors are expensive enough! I have understood they believe the residue of the skin prep could adhere to the inserted sensor wire and mess up readings.

A year ago I started using skin prep. I am not aware of any problems.

I have inserted through skin prep and IV3000 pads. The first time was by accident, but I was having so much trouble lining the sensor wire with where I had left the skin prep off or cut a whole in the pad that I just gave up (especially when trying to insert on the side of my abdomen. After doing this 10 or 12 times I have not had a problem yet - YMMV (your mileage may vary)

we use skin prep on my daughter, and haven’t seen any issues. no changes in accuracy or anything. the injection sites are healing normally as well. if you let the skin prep dry before insertion i am not sure how any of it could adhere to the sensor wire. i assume the needle passes right through it as well as the skin.

I am NOT !!! licensed as a Medical Professional in any State or Country. Although my style of writing may sound “like an expert”, my opinions about medical matters are the TOTALLY UNQUALIFIED OPINIONS of a mere user. If they lead you to consider making any changes in your regimen, you should review any such changes with a QUALIFIED PROFESSIONAL.

Got it? OK, with that out of way, I have opinions about this. LOTS of opinions! :LOL:
Helmut and AliceColnes are correct. Skin-Prep, fully dried, creates thin film on your skin. The film is semi-solid, and doesn’t seem to have any effect on Sensor insert, Sensor performance, or Sensor removal. I’ve been using it for multiple years.

If you ask a Dexcom person (in Support or Sales), they should follow FDA requirements and refuse to say ANYTHING AT ALL about using Skin-Prep. They can only say, “Well I’ve heard of people saying they use that, but I’ve got no other information.”

They are required to say that the only approved “preparation” is alcohol, because that’s the approved labeling for the device. I feel that alcohol wipes do not constitute an adequate disinfectant for a 7-day subcutaneous device, but Dexcom persons cannot talk about more effective disinfectants either: use of such products is un-approved and off-label.

(MOSTLY-OFF-TOPIC:) I used both PVI and CHG in the past, and I currently use CHG exclusively. After applying CGI for an adequate time, I wipe with an alcohol pad to remove the CGI before proceeding to the Skin-Prep. PVI is the "orange stuff", widely used as a disinfectant for minor surgery (and major surgery too) within the USA. PVI is over-the-counter at any drugstore, but it's much more likely to cause allergic reactions. CHG is a colorless chemical, but always has artificial color added so that it's users can see that the liquid is an unnatural chemical. My prescriptions have been filled in both "bright pink" and "ultra-blue" colors.) The cost is very low, but it does require a Script in the USA. AFAIK, nearly all of Europe has switched from PVI to CHG to avoid the allergy risk. Both are highly effective; you need to merely keep the application in liquid state for at least 30 seconds.

That’s another example of something Dexcom can’t say. Korrie has either heard or been told directly that “they believe the residue of the skin prep could adhere to the inserted sensor wire”. but I don’t think that anyone with knowledge or experience believes this at all.

Korrie, your response is 100% accurate :))) This is what “They” must REPORT because the FDA requires them to speak of nothing except alcohol. Also an “official recommendation” of a 3rd party product, over which Dexcom has no control, could open a can of lawsuit-worms if a pt. later experienced a problem with the combination.

So go ahead, give it a try! You will probably experience much better Sensor tape adhesion (leading to longer Sensor lifespan), AND less skin irritation at the same time. (The Dexcom tape sticks to the thin Skin-Prep film, rather than your skin; and your sweat is kept away from the Dexcom adhesive. So the product is helping on BOTH sides.)

But of course, be absolutely sure to make it dry COMPLETELY before mounting the Sensor pad. Use a hair dryer! Gently, from a distance, and tilted slightly upwards into application area – this counteracts gravity, helping the Skin-Prep thickness to stay “even”. Skin-Prep starts out extremely “runny”. Without the hair dryer “wind” pushing it upwards, gravity makes it run downwards from the top of the liquid area, towards the bottom.

Uneven thickness is bad, and a good layer at the TOP of your Sensor pad is very important: That’s where shower spray tends to dig “in between” the pad adhesive and your body, causing the pad edge to fail.

As you may know, I also use four strips of “FlexiFix” around the Transmitter assembly, large enough to reach about 1/4" past the pad edges. (The strip across the bottom goes down first, then the two sides. The strip across the top is LAST.) If you do this, be sure that your application of Skin-Prep covers the whole area, including the outer edges of the FlexiFix strips.

This application has NEVER, EVER, failed to keep my Dexcom adhesive pad in place, or even loosen an edge, for the entire lifespan which I use. That’s 14 days. I could get a few more days if I pushed it to the absolute “end” of reliability, but it’s more important for me to have accurate readings, all the way to the end, than the alternative of saving $$ savings of “extra” days with a “risky” endpoint.

I’m with Rickst29. Been using skin prep since day 1 with no adverse effects to the sensor. Let it dry, attached the pad and pound the inserter. I figure the insertion needle shields the platinum wire from contact with any residual skin prep. Even at day 14 mine are mostly still stuck well, even on the edges.