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Thread: Successful use of Dexcom w/ adhesive allergy

  1. #1

    Default Successful use of Dexcom w/ adhesive allergy

    Hi all,

    A lot of people have asked me to update once I figured out how to manage my pretty severe allergy to the dexcom adhesive. So I figured I would post an update to my ongoing saga.

    Feel free to scroll past this info if you want.

    Background info: Around 3 weeks into dexcom use I suddenly developed an allergy to the adhesive. In the outline of the adhesive I had a burn mark that blistered (and left a scar I still have). It was on my upper arm and I also had hives up and down my arm as well as my neck as well as a generalized red itchy rash (but very minor compared to the hives).

    Now: I was gchating with my cde on thursday and she suggested trying to get the dex to work sooner rather then later to deal with some pretty scary lows the medtronic is just not catching in time. It just so happened that, that night I was working with 2 guys who went to my college and came back to visit who happen to be er docs. We were all hanging out at my house and figured it might be a nice project to remove the adhesive and see what we could do. I was fine with it since I was in pretty great hands if I were to have any sort of reaction.

    DISCLAIMER: I 100% don't recommend doing this without speaking to your doctors. This is probably not the most responsible thing I have ever done. And I am pretty sure dexcom would not approve of this in any way.

    A side note here: I get hives on my hands from touching the adhesive. I wore latex gloves for this whole thing and changed them between steps. The guys made sure not to touch my skin without changing gloves.

    To remove the adhesive, we first just tore it off. We then used a uni-solve wipe to get the rest off. We then used some wax remover I found in an old home eyebrow waxing kit to remove the rest. It was then cleaned with alcohol prep and sterile water several times and the bottom and sides of the sensor were covered with 3 layers of opsite tape.

    For my skin we put down 2 criss crossing layers of opsite tape. We then put down a piece of opsite tape sticky side up and taped 2 edges.



    We then removed the green back of the tape and taped the other sides.



    We then placed the sensor on top of the sticky part and inserted. We attached the transmitter and taped over with opsite tape. 1 piece in each direction.



    My boyfriend did all of the touching of the sensor for the process of inserting it.
    The entire process took around 20 minutes. But we were fooling around a lot so it could probably take under 10 if you were actually concentrating.

    Results: I have had close to perfect accuracy. It is putting the medtronic sensor to shame with regards to catching lows. I have not had such great blood sugars in forever. I am on day 4 now with no reaction of any kind. My skin looks great under the tape.

    Reason we used the 7+ instead of G4: Well first the G4 is at home not at school and we gave away the sensors once we realized I was allergic. And, I have a bunch of expired 7+ sensors a friend gave me so I figured we wouldn't be wasting a sensor if it didn't work. I am not really sure how this could be any more accurate any way. I am finding little to no delay- maybe 5-6 minutes at the most for highs. Other then some wacky extreme numbers the first 12 hours it has been +/- 10 points for every single bg check. Since I got hives from touching the adhesive for this sensor I am assuming whatever I am allergic to is in both adhesives.
    Meg
    College Senior, Age 20
    Pancreatectomy 2/17/2003
    Pumping 2/19/2003, Currently w/ Minimed Revel and Omnipod
    CGM: MM 2006-2013, Dexcom G4 2013-Present
    Symlin since 4/2013

  2. #2

    Default

    Thank you. I'm making a list of things to try.
    Linda, Mom to:

    Caroline: 8yrs dx 8/11, Pinging, DexG4
    DS: 12yrs
    DS: 16yrs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Southeast
    Posts
    6,950

    Default

    Please post pictures when you remove the sensor. We tried this with my younger son a couple of years ago for the Dexcom 7+. I pulled off all the tape and removed the residue with a drummel tool and sanded it off. Put a layer underneath with a hold cut out for the sensor.Put Opsite on top. It was better, but when we removed it there were water blisters under the plastic part even though there was opsite there. I hope it works for you. We may try again.
    DS1, 17 yrs old, diag 3/2000 at 3 years old, pumping 2001,Minimed 508 2001, Cozmo 2004 & 2008, Animas Ping 5/09, Novolog ,Apidra(1/11),Back to Novolog 6/11, Insets 6mm, Navigator 8/08-5/09, Dexcom 5/09, Dexcom G4 12/12
    DS2 , 14 yrs old, diag 9/2000 at 10 months old, pumping 2001,Minimed 508 2001,Cozmo 2004 & 2008, Animas Ping 5/09, Revel 12/10, Back to Animas Ping 12/10, Novolog ,Insets 6mm, Navigator 9/08-5/09, Dexcom 5/09,Navigator 11/09,Guardian 9/10 Enlites 11/13,Minimed 730g 1/14

  4. #4

    Default

    My daughters bad reaction right now is because we put Opsite on her leg first... It's is an interesting idea, but I'd have to try it with something other than Opsite. Maybe Hypafix. She never used to react to any of these things.
    Linda, Mom to:

    Caroline: 8yrs dx 8/11, Pinging, DexG4
    DS: 12yrs
    DS: 16yrs

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    1,745

    Default

    has anyone used duct tape? I read someone tried it with good results, but I'd be careful of course with such severe reactions.
    Denise,
    DD age 12, dx at 4 (Oct 2006), MM Jul 2009, Guardian Feb 2010, Omnipod Jul 2012, Dex Jan 2013,
    Dex/Cloud Jul 2014. Also peanut allergic and asthmatic.
    DS age 14, non-D, but peanut allergic and asthamtic too. Also Asperger's, ADHD, and a pinch of OCD.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    1,745

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    Wouldn't it be great if they made sensors without tape? Then you could just use whatever you wanted. Like if they just made a sensor with no adhesive and you bought the double sided sticky tape of your choice.

    Dex, are you listening??? Make a line of different double sided sticky tapes and a adhesive free sensor.
    Denise,
    DD age 12, dx at 4 (Oct 2006), MM Jul 2009, Guardian Feb 2010, Omnipod Jul 2012, Dex Jan 2013,
    Dex/Cloud Jul 2014. Also peanut allergic and asthmatic.
    DS age 14, non-D, but peanut allergic and asthamtic too. Also Asperger's, ADHD, and a pinch of OCD.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    1,745

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    http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...be0V49LN2XB0gl
    Hey they actually do make double sided sticky medical tape. How cool is that?! I just googled double sided medical tape and got hits.

    Ha, they even make this stuff for hair pieces.
    http://www.paintandpowderstore.com/p...?prod=PPS-0011
    Denise,
    DD age 12, dx at 4 (Oct 2006), MM Jul 2009, Guardian Feb 2010, Omnipod Jul 2012, Dex Jan 2013,
    Dex/Cloud Jul 2014. Also peanut allergic and asthmatic.
    DS age 14, non-D, but peanut allergic and asthamtic too. Also Asperger's, ADHD, and a pinch of OCD.

  8. #8

    Default

    Are there any tapes/ adhesives that are known to interfere with transmission if put over the sensor?
    Linda, Mom to:

    Caroline: 8yrs dx 8/11, Pinging, DexG4
    DS: 12yrs
    DS: 16yrs

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    1,509

    Cool

    Meg...so it sounds like basically you did an opsite barrier...I am curious why you didn't try to do an opsite barrier without removing the adhesive from the dex? The opsite would protect your skin from it I would think? Also...it sounds like you didn't cut a hole for the sensor to go through the skin? Am I right in saying this? Isn't that a big no no with insertions devices? Lol

    Also you taped over the dex which I read is also not recommended...I am certainly not scolding you because if this works I would definitely try it for Bethany's sensitive skin if we do try the dex in June when the Medtronic monitor is out of warranty!

    Just wanted to clarify a few things...thanks for the explicit directions! We actually did an opsite barrier way back when for Bethany's pod but I found the cavilon wipes did a great job on its own


    Elizabeth.
    Mother to:
    Bethany (born 8/7/04, dx T1 3/07, pumping with Omnipod since 6/07 & Guardian CGM since 4/08. Dexcom G4 start 7/2013) &
    Andrew (born 9/8/06, non-d).
    Wife to Steven since 10/2000

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    1,509

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by denise3099 View Post
    has anyone used duct tape? I read someone tried it with good results, but I'd be careful of course with such severe reactions.
    Opsite is safer and just as strong...believe me. Been using it for years and I tried EVERYTHING!!


    Elizabeth.
    Mother to:
    Bethany (born 8/7/04, dx T1 3/07, pumping with Omnipod since 6/07 & Guardian CGM since 4/08. Dexcom G4 start 7/2013) &
    Andrew (born 9/8/06, non-d).
    Wife to Steven since 10/2000

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