Tips for Dealing with Skin Irritation from Infusion Set & Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems

Skin irritation and dermatitis due to the adhesives used on glucose monitoring systems can be resolved and eased by understanding the cause of the problem. Chances are if you are reading this you have either seen your endocrinologist, perhaps consulted a dermatologist or an allergist or you are doing some preliminary research to see how others handle skin irritation.

We compiled a list, based on tips and testimonials from patients and nurses, of possible solutions for soothing your skin and averting future irritation caused by the adhesives in your insulin pump or continuous glucose monitoring system.

  1. If when you first try the sensor or set, if you experience skin irritation, chances are it won’t get better, it will only get worse without intervention.
  2. Keep it clean and dry. A non-perfumed soap, something very basic and simple to clean the site and prevent bacteria growth. Then swab it with alcohol if the site is not already enflamed. Once the site is nice and clean, let it dry completely.
  3. Doctor approved sprays and anti-histamines that relieve the skin. Most of these sprays will/can provide periodic and short lived relief. There are prescribed creams and sprays that may provide relief for days after the initial application.
  4. Skin barriers come in sprays and wipes. They create a film between the skin and the adhesive. There are several brands that you can try and most are waterproof but remove with soap, water and gentle scrubbing.
  5. Add a physical barrier. In almost all cases you can either leave the tape backing on the sensor or set, and apply either a picture frame of tape around the device, or use an adhesive patch and cut the correct sized hole to push the sensory or set through, then apply the pate to the skin.
  6. You can also apply the tape or barrier directly to the skin, then apply your set or sensor to the tape.

Contact dermatitis may be the culprit of your skin irritation.

There are many different adhesive additives that cause skin allergies to flair up. Additives that are derived from nature as well as those created in a lab are often both to blame. Everyones skin is different, therefore the best way to figure out what the root of the problem may be is patch testing.

Hy-Tape has long been the tape of choice for those who have problems with adhesives. According to U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM) the current prevalence of latex allergy and sensitization among patients are 7.2% and 30.4%, respectively. Even trace amounts of latex can set a reaction into motion. Hy-Tape is latex free which addresses that population. Our adhesive also features zinc oxide which is soothing to the skin and in some cases can inhibit skin reactions. Hy-Tape has is suitable for neonatal care as well as geriatric patients who have thin, delicate skin. If you would like to try a sample of Hy-Tape to see how it works for you, please this click.