Diabetes Forecast

4 Tips for Keeping CGM Sensors and Infusion Sets In Place

Help your adhesives stay stuck with these smart ideas

By Allison Tsai , ,

Terry Doran/Mittera

If you wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) or use an insulin pump, you may be familiar with the particular frustration of adhesive that slides off your skin days before it needs to be changed. It’s a pretty common problem. Fortunately, we have some tried-and-true tips to get your infusion set or sensor to stay stuck.

1. Clean

Dirt, oil, and moisture are all adhesion busters, so you’ll want to stick your infusion set or sensor to clean skin.  Use an alcohol pad or IV prep wipe, which offers some extra stickiness. Let the area dry completely before attaching your sensor or set or adding any other products.

2. Prep

Several products are available to add extra adhesion to your skin. Try Skin Tac or Mastisol, both liquid adhesives, that when dry act as a tacky barrier between your skin and the adhesive that holds your infusion set or sensor in place. Doing so will help it stick around longer. Spray antiperspirant may also help with adhesion, but skip deodorant, which has extra chemicals that can irritate the skin. Remember to leave a product-free spot on the skin, through which you’ll stick your CGM sensor needle. Otherwise, the adhesive’s chemicals could compromise the accuracy of your readings.

3. Tape

Flexible tapes, such as Polyskin, Tegaderm, and Opsite, will also add a layer of adhesion. You can tape over your device’s adhesion pad once it’s in place. Or you can cut a hole in the tape so it fits snuggly around the plastic part of your infusion set or CGM sensor and transmitter. When using with an infusion set, make sure the tape isn’t covering any plastic or tubing that you’ll need to disconnect, as this can leave room for air, moisture and dirt to get in.

4. Move

Consider moving the insertion site if it seems to dislodge frequently with your daily activities. There isn’t a “stickiest spot” on the body, so wear it in a place that works for you.

The Sticking Point

How to tackle irritation from infusion set and CGM sensor adhesives.



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