I posted on 5th May 2013 about a CGM tape rash I had uncovered after taking off the CGM tape. I had and regularly do apply Hypafix tape if I want to get the best life out of the CGM sensor. For me it seems to improve sensor life, e.g. it stops the transmitter moving around and that in turn stops any irritation in the hole where the sensor is inserted (that sounds gross as I’m typing this but it’s true) and seems to extend the life by a few more days if not 5 or 10 more in some cases.
The rash had come about because I had problems when I inserted the sensor and the tape wasn’t sticking so I added Hypafix tape which I would usually do on day 4 or 5 of the sensor wear. I then wore the tape for 15 days as the sensor was working fine but changed the tape sometimes daily but the last 5 days I had left the tape on without changing it. After removing the tape I had found a bad rash.
Since then I’ve been wearing the CGM on the other arm and had another 10 day wear out of the last sensor. I had noticed my skin peeling on the original arm where I had the rash. I was letting it get air for 10 days and was treating it with E45 Itch Relief Cream twice daily. The last few days the skin had started to peel, so dead skin had come away and the new skin had formed underneath. As my sensor on my other arm expired on day 10 I decided to try and switch back to my original arm where the rash had been and not add any hypafix tape this time.
So I inserted the sensor on my original arm where the rash had been, I had similar problems with the edge of the tape not sticking, again I’m not sure why. This has happened on the last 4 sensors. I seem to get better adhesion by doing it first thing in the morning before showering. However even though the edges of the tape wasn’t sticking well I decided not to put hypafix tape on.
The photo below shows the transmitter on my original arm that had the rash. The hypafix tape I had applied over 10 days ago would have gone beyond the sensor/transmitter tape that you can see there and as you can see the skin has healed nicely. It did take 10 days for it to heal but I’m glad it did with no kind of infection.
I have heard from many CGM and pump wearers that they don’t get any rashes although I have heard from a few that say they do. I haven’t had any kind of rash or allergic reaction in the past but I think due to the length of time I had left the tape on the skin, it failed to let it breathe properly and caused irritation and a rash.
This does highlight the dangers of what an extended sensor can do to your skin. Strangely enough the sensor hole was perfectly fine and around where the sensor and transmitter was placed, it was just the extended area of hypafix tape that had caused the rash.
If you think about it another way, skin is a living breathing product of our bodies. It sheds itself naturally but doesn’t like to be covered up constantly and certainly not for a period of 15 days at a time. So beware CGM and Pump users, I don’t have delicate skin but even with non-delicate skin you can still get a rash! Just think about the rashes babies get from nappies/diapers!