If you’re active, sweat a lot, live in a hot climate or your skin just doesn’t get along with the adhesives of your CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor), you undoubtedly know the frustration of the CGM tape peeling and your sensor being at risk of falling off.
This has been a huge problem for me in the past. Not only do I live in southern California (with summer year-round), but I’m active on a daily basis and the CGM tape of my Dexcom G6 simply can’t keep up with my lifestyle.
My solution is to add a patch over my sensor to extend its lifetime and make sure it doesn’t fall off. But not all patches are created equal and in this post, I’ll show you why Skin Grip is my favorite go-to patch.
This post is sponsored by Skin Grip, but the opinions are my own and I used Skin Grip patches before they became a sponsor.
What I look for in a CGM patch
When it comes to CGM patches, the most important factors for me are
- Ease of use
- How they look
I have very sensitive skin and most patches will make my skin angrily red and itchy. Because of that, I always look for patches that will allow my skin to breathe but where the glue is still strong enough that the patch will stay on for at least 10 days, but not so strong that it will take my skin off when I peel off the patch.
There are many different options available, and the patches are generally either:
- a paper or plastic-like material
- a fabric material (like Skin Grip)
I’ve found that the paperlike material is very stiff so it doesn’t stick to the skin as well and will start to peel within a few days. The plastic, on the other hand, will stay on for a long time, but my skin clearly doesn’t like it and will look red and irritated within the first day.
So I tend to gravitate towards fabric patches that Skin Grip provides.
Some have suggested that I just add some Skin Tac Glue (an additional body adhesive) under some of the other patches to make them stick better. I guess I could do that, but why not choose one that will stick in a comfortable way by itself?
I do sometimes use an Adhesive remover (I have both adhesive wipes and liquid adhesive removers to remove the patches and any residue adhesive after the 10 days that the Dexcom G6 lasts. Since the patch sticks so well, it’s a great way of easily removing the patch (especially if you apply the patch in a place with body hair).
Patch Ease of Use
It clearly shouldn’t require an advanced degree to apply a CGM patch, but if you have 10 thumbs like I do or like to place the patch in places that are hard to reach (the back of my arm is my preferred placement), it can be a little tricky.
With some patches, it’s quite tricky to get the patch off the paper that protects the adhesive. Some patches even require that you remove the whole piece of paper before applying it to the skin.
The issue with removing all of the paper is that now you have a floppy and VERY sticky patch, and the likelihood of just gluing the patch to itself is high (yes, I’ve done that more than once).
What I like about Skin Grip is that the paper comes off in 4 sections, so you can choose to remove one or none of the paper pieces before you apply the patch to the skin.
I like to place it over the sensor and then remove one section, push it down on the skin to make sure it sticks, and then work my way around to the other sections. Works like a charm and I haven’t had to discard a single patch yet from having it adhere to itself.
This method also means that I can apply it with one hand, without help. So I can keep wearing my sensor on my arm without having to ask my husband for help every time I want to change a patch.
You can see how I put on the Skin Grip in this video:
Let’s face it, living with diabetes isn’t fun and it’s very expensive in most countries, so CGM patches are not really something I can spend a ton of money on.
I’ve tried other patches with intricate designs, and they are fun, but I don’t want to spend $3-4 per patch. But of course, that’s a preference.
A pack of Skin Grip patches is $24.99 and includes 20 single-use patches. That’s only $1.25 per patch, which is very affordable relative to the other patches currently available on the market.
How they look
The final thing I consider when it comes to patches is how they look. I mostly wear my CGM on my upper arms so it’s not hidden away under clothing.
The Skin Grip patches come in an oval design that you can cut thinner if you prefer that. I generally don’t since I want as much patch as possible holding my sensor in place.
They are currently available in Tan, Pink, Black, and Blue but will soon be available in more colors. So stay tuned…
These patches don’t come in any crazy color combinations or designs, it’s more about functionality.