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The latest attempt at dealing with Jacob's Dexcom adhesive allergy

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Jacob'sDad, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Jacob'sDad

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    Without going into detail we have been dealing with Jacob's skin breaking out at his Dex site for quite some time. I have tried several things (Toughpad, Hypafix, Opsite, Tegaderm, etc) and all have failed. Some seemed to work the first time but didn't work out over time.

    This time I simply put a layer of liquid bandage at the site and the applied the Dex site over the top of it. I used no over-bandage because I wanted to make sure the over-bandage didn't cause a break out.

    Well, he never broke out, which is good.:) The site came loose on day six. The next attempt today will be the same thing, but with an over-bandage. Hopefully this works. I have been here before though, and just because it worked once doesn't mean it will work again.
     
  2. Noel

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    Here's hoping to a good outcome!!!! It's so frustrating when this happens, we have this technology to help our kids and then they can't wear it because of the reaction to all of the stuff we have to use to keep it on them!

    Keep us posted on how you make out!
     
  3. ecs1516

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    Did you leave a circle in the middle so the sensor didn't have to go through the skin tac?

    Wow! I hope this works. Sounds easy enough. Is the liquid bandage Skin Tac , Liquid? I may try that myself. My younger son has that allergy with Dex and we are using the MM CGM on him now. He is not allergic to that at all. I miss the Dex though.
     
  4. Jacob'sDad

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    No it's not Skin-Tac. It's that thick stuff that you use for clean cuts like a paper cut, or to cover blisters. Bowlers use it if they get a blister on their thumb. I'm at work, but I think it might be called New Skin or something like that.
     
  5. chbarnes

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    Good luck. I hope these companies, like Dexcom and Insulet, will recognize they are losing up to 20 percent of their customers to adhesive sensitivity, and offer their products with an alternative adhesive.
     
  6. ecs1516

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    I agree.

    I am hoping Dexcom makes some kind of change for their gen 4 sensor. We don't have a problem with unimedical sites or with Minimed CGM or Navigator. It has to be something specific to Dexcom.
     
  7. goochgirl

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    I put a thick glob of liquid Benadryl on Yo, and he was able to wear his for the first time in months. Yes, I wish Dex would do something about their adhesive. Too many kids have issues with it.
     
  8. Tomdiorio

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    Same thing here

    Our little guy had an allergic reaction as well. We haven't used the dex in about two months. Keep us posted on the results. Thanks.
     
  9. Lovemyboys

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    We're dealing with a dexcom reaction and I found this old thread when searching the archives. I was just wondering if the liquid bandage worked long term?
     
  10. ecs1516

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    I wonder if it is working for them too.

    For us I believe it is an allergy to the sensor metal itself and not the tape.
     
  11. Tricia22

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    So there's an autoimmune condition that may be causing these reactions in some people that I have... just wanted to suggest it asanother possible explanation.
    I have what's called dermatographia. Your immune system basically freaks out whenever there's skin irritation like tape being on the skin, tape being pulled off the skin, scratches, etc. and so when that irritation occurs, your immune system goes crazy and causes a histaminic reaction, or hives. I have to take zyrtec daily to help lessen the reactions, but they still do occur with some adhesives, etc.
    The reaction has gone away completely with Dexcom tape, and has lessened greatly with OmniPod tape - may try the OmniPod again full time for a bit to see if the combination of Zyrtec and some kind of tape will get rid of the reaction all together.
    Anyway, dermatographia is NOT actually an allergy to any adhesives, it's an autoimmune reaction to trauma or irritation to the skin manifesting in hives.
    I went through full adhesive allergy testing and sensitivity stuff, and the only thing I had an ACTUAL allergic reaction to was mastisol and skin-tac, and those were full level, highest level of reaction possible - HUGE gross hives...

    So, there's some food for thought or at least another avenue to explore for those with adhesive "issues".
     
  12. Jacob'sDad

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    Hi, it worked the first time. The site lasted six days. The second time I think it was working but I added an over bandage, which was Opsite, and it started to come loose. I think it is very weird that Opsite doesn't stay stuck on Jacob, since it's supposed to be about the stickiest stuff out there.

    When the Opsite started to come loose he started to itch. Or maybe it's the other way around, because his skin starts to weep and that might be causing both the itching and the loosening of the adhesive.

    So we haven't kept using the liquid bandage. Why? There's a couple of reasons:
    1) It is pretty much invisible and it is hard to spread it over the large area required to block the entire Dex sensor adhesive pad. And it takes a fair amount of the stuff to do it. Figure that the stuff is usually for small cuts.

    2) It reeks to high Heaven. It smells like nail polish remover and the smell bothers me. Jacob doesn't seem bothered by it, but I am rather sensitive to certain odors. I dislike all perfume, for example. It just seems to me that putting something on his arm that has such a powerful solvent like odor is a lot like sniffing glue. It can't be good.

    Maybe I worry too much.:rolleyes: It would be nice if there is a low odor version of liquid bandage. I would give it a try.

    I also think Liquid Bandage is worth trying if someone wants to give it a shot. I don't think it can hurt to try it. You'll see what I mean about the odor right away.
     
  13. Jacob'sDad

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    Thank you for posting this Tricia! It's very helpful and definitely food for thought. I think it brings up questions I need to answer:

    1) Does Jacob seem sensitive to anything on his skin?

    No, he does not break out or get hives from pump sites.

    2) Does he break out or get hives from scratches or abrasions?

    No, I don't think so.

    3) Does he seem to have sensitive skin?

    Yeah, maybe. His skin is pretty dry, if that means anything.

    4) Has Jacob been tested for allergies to the various adhesives?

    NO

    Tricia, how did you go about getting allergy testing? Do you think this is something Jacob should have done?
     
  14. Jacob'sDad

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    Question about the Benadryl to the poster or anyone else who may be able to answer:

    Does the glob go on before the site goes on? Isn't it moist, meaning that the site won't stick? Do you wipe off the excess or do just wait until it dries?
     
  15. Tricia22

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    I don't generally get hives from scratches, I was just getting so fed up with seemingly developing more and more adhesives allergies or issues that I got in touch with an allergist who I had seen for possible respiratory allergies. He then referred me to a local dermatologist who specifically does skin allergy testing (for chemicals, cosmetics, adhesives, environmental stuff, worker's comp for reactions in the workplace, etc). I always thought I either just had really really sensitivie skin, or adhesive allergies... well, turns out no actual adhesive allergies (just to the skin tac and mastisol which were 4+ reactions which is the highest level) and I guess you'd also say really sensitive skin with a name... I also never had any issues with pump sites in general, just the OmniPod tape, and occasionally the Dex tape as well... I also would break out in rashes from ANY kind of bandaids or like the transpore plastic tape.

    If you're going to go the allergy testing route to try to figure it out, I'd recommend seeking out a dermatologist who specifically works with skin allergies... they can diagnose whether it's an allergy or not, do the testing, figure out what all is going on, and recommend or treat however's needed. The guy I saw also does a lot with ostomy patients since they often have skin breakdown issues and with ostomy appliances, generally need to use lots of tapes, preps, etc. like us pump users frequently do as well...
     
  16. Tricia22

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    The Benadryl SPRAY might help and once that dries, it does not affect adherance (is that even a word?) at all, but a note of warning- when it dries, it's REALLY hard to see where you sprayed it to put the tape or site right there...
     
  17. MomofSweetOne

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    When we were deciding on CGMs and pumps a couple months ago, I asked Dexcom if we could trial their patch to see if my daughter was reactive to it. They told me they'd never heard of problems with Dexcom adhesive causing rashes. We went with the Medtronic. I'd recommend those of you using it become vocal to the company if you are hoping for a change.
     
  18. Lovemyboys

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    Jacob's dad - thanks for the update. I agree about odors, I don't think I'd want to put something that smelled on his skin, especially in the amount needed to cover the area under the sensor.

    Tricia - I'm going to research the dermatographia and see if that's what we're dealing with.

    We took him to the dermatologist and he pronounced him with a rosin (colophony) allergy. He didn't do a patch test, but just diagnosed him based on the products we brought him (the skin-tac has rosin in it and he said it was a common allergen). I'm not so sure it's a rosin allergy, at least I hope not because it's in everything from chewing gum to diapers. I called Dexcom to see if they use rosin in their adhesive and the representative didn't know, but he said he would research it and send me an e-mail. I have yet to hear from him and it's been about a week or so.
     
  19. KayJay

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    We also have had trouble with Noelle breaking out and itching horribly with her Dexcom...and occasionally with her infusion sets. I read online somewhere to try Benadryl spray and it has worked great! I alcohol her site and let that dry, then spray the benadryl on but don't let it dry completely...then put the new sensor on her. It keeps her itch-free longer. She still can't make it the entire 7 days usually. I haven't complained to Dexcom but after reading all of these other people unable to use it due to sensitivity, I think I will.
     
  20. goochgirl

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    Sorry, didn't see this. I use the liquid, kind of jelly, Benadryl. I wait a minute for it to dry, then put the site on. He is still having some issues, but he is able to tollerate it much better with the Benadryl.
     

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