If you’re a person living with diabetes and using a continuous glucose monitor such as the Dexcom G6, you know as well as I do how difficult it can be in the summer months to keep your Dexcom G6 CGM adhered. Here are 10 tips to get 10 days out of your Dexcom G6 from a Floridian who spends her weekends in the ocean, pool, and heat.
Apply your Dexcom AFTER showering/bathing and keep it dry for a few hours. If you apply your Dexcom to clean and dry skin, it adheres best. You may find best results if you wait an hour or two after showering so that any moisture is out of your skin. I also find that this ensures that I will not have to shower shortly after applying my Dexcom and the adhesive has time to “cure” on my skin before getting it wet for the first time.
If you are a man… pick an area with minimal hair or shave (sorry, guys). The Dexcom sensor adhesive works best when stuck directly to the skin. If you choose an area of your body that has a good bit of hair, you may find that not only does it hurt to remove it (and the hair that comes with it) but it also may not last the full 10 days.
Apply carefully. When applying your Dexcom G6, be sure to avoid touching the adhesive patch and stick the sensor applicator down straight and slowly so that your adhesive does not become wrinkled. Wrinkles in the adhesive allow for premature peeling and may cause you to lose sensors sooner than 10 days.
Use a skin prep product under the Dexcom adhesive. Using a skin prep under your Dexcom adhesive during the summer months will help make your skin sticky so that the Dexcom adhesive gets an even better hold.
Try different sites to find which one works best for you. Where you place your Dexcom will have a huge impact on how long you get it to last. For me, I have a very active job and I find my sensor is most out of the way if I place it on the back of my upper arm. But, if you play contact sports, the arm may be a site that gets beat up on frequently causing your site to fall off. If I apply to my abdomen, I like to bend over and make sure I pick an area that does not have skin folds. Applying to an area of the skin that folds and moves frequently will also cause the adhesive to lift prematurely.
Find an adhesive overpatch that works best for you. Even when following all of the steps above, the Dexcom adhesive may not last the full 10 days it is intended to, This is where overpatches come in. Dexcom patches like Pump Peelz Patch+ or Patch Peelz will help give you that extra sense of security while also making your device more personalized. There are plenty of Dexcom adhesive over patches on the market, to test some out and see what works best for your skin.
Read the instructions on whichever overpatch you choose to use. Pump Peelz has very specific instructions on how to get the best results out of their patches as do most other companies. For instance, Pump Peelz Patch+ works best when applied without any extra adhesives like Skintac, while the original Patch Peelz works best with 3M Cavilon Barrier wipes. Tips like these can help you get a full 10 days out of your patch and sensor.
Use vet wrap around the sensor site when spending the day in the water. We all know that those little grey transmitters are like gold. They are very expensive and not easily replaced when lost. It is a sinking feeling to lose your transmitter in the ocean while at the beach. Vet wrap is a self adhering bandage that is typically used on injured animals and can be found at your local Tractor Supply or on Amazon. If you use your arm or thigh for your Dexcom sensor site, you can use vet wrap around the site to help ensure that if the adhesive comes off, itll still be held tight to your body so you can save the transmitter. Vet wrap comes in plenty of fun colors and is inexpensive compared to the cost of replacing a transmitter therefore it is a must have in my diabetes supply drawer!
Carry extra adhesive with you when you are going out for a day in the water or sun. We all know that the Dexcom sensor applicators are bulky and not easy to carry in a small supply bag. It also stinks to lose your Dexcom sensor in the middle of a fun day and have to stop for finger sticks all day long. Make sure you bring an adhesive patch with you in your supply bag so that if your sensor starts to peel, you can reinforce it with extra adhesive!
And if it comes off? Call Dexcom! Dexcom has always been willing to replace sensors that do not last their full life, no matter what the reason is. Do not let yourself run short on supplies, use the Dexcom Tech Support Chat Line or call in to the 24/7 Tech Support and they will be glad to replace the lost sensor.
Nothing about living with diabetes is easy and keeping a sensor adhered for 10 days is no different. Hopefully the above tips help you! As always, consult with your doctor before trying CGM sites not approved by Dexcom.
To learn more about how Pump Peelz can help keep your Dexcom G6 sensor adhered, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help!