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Dexcom Rash: Alternative Solution.

The Dexcom rash is under control, but still not gone.  So I'm still on the hunt for something that makes this rash feel less like I'm developing a skin-peeling, borderline-chemical burn looking mess underneath each sensor adhesive ring. 

The inhaler solution works really well, but there is the risk of putting a steroid on top of my skin.  (My doctor yesterday and I had a long discussion about the adhesive rash, or "contact dermatitis," as he's fond of calling it, and he cautioned me against long-term use of the inhaler solution because it could cause permanent discoloration of those patches of my skin.  "I don't want that," I said, "but I do want to find some solution to this issue.")

Thankfully, about two weeks ago, I gave one of these a try:

TOUGHPAD!  Yaaaaaw!!  (Howard Dean-style yell there.)

This is a Tough Pad.  (The name conjures up a mental image of the padding on the underside of a lion's paw.  Rawr.)  They're made by Johnson & Johnson, and I ordered a package of them off of Amazon after a reader emailed and said they were the solution that worked, rash-avoidance-wise, for them. 

The Amazon description reads as follows:  "These super durable Pads are designed to stay in place for over 24 hours, are extra flexible to fit over joints, and are 100% Waterproof and Sweatproof. Johnson & Johnson Red Cross Brand Tough Pads act in place of a scab to encourage fast natural healing. They're made with Compeed Moisture Seal Technology which helps form a gel cushion over the wound to cover painful nerve endings and protect from bumping to help minimize pain. Tough Pads are super durable and waterproof to stay on longer and keep your wound protected." 

So it's a wound coverage thing, but I'm using it a touch differently.  I'm still wearing my Dexcom sensors on my outer thigh, only now I'm plunking down this adhesive Tough Pad thing first.  (Where?  Image standing up straight, and then let your hands hang down by your sides.  Where the palm of your hands rests on your outer thigh?  That's where I'm shoving the sensor in.)  Once the Tough Pad is in place and it's smoothed out, I stick the Dexcom adhesive right over it.  The Tough Pad is long enough to cover the entire length of the adhesive, and more than wide enough to cover the width.  And I just deploy the sensor wire right through the Tough Pad.

I used one two weeks ago, for the first time, and I did not have a skin reaction to it at all.  (The only reaction I had was when I decided to stick a slip of Opsite Flexifix along the edge, once it started to peel.  Even though the Opsite doesn't usually give me a reaction, my skin was a little pink when I pulled the whole set up off.)  My accuracy throughout the life of that first sensor was completely fine and normal, as though there wasn't a skin barrier at all.  And for this second round, of which I'm on Day Four, the song remains the same:  no rash, no accuracy issues, and the only thing I'm being careful of is prematurely peeling back the Tough Pad (because once that adhesive gives up, the whole thing is shot).

I hope this is a solution that can work for me, long term and drug-free, while my doctor and dermatologist and I experiment with other solutions.  Because the Dexcom woke me up twice last night with gross, sustained lows, and I'm not willing to give this device up because of a rash.  I'm itching to make it work.


Gross lows.

[Dexcom disclosure


That is good news! I have that rash off and on. I can't figure out what triggers it, though it is usually associated with Skin Tac Wipe, but not always! I wish, I wish that Dexcom would ask Omnipod uses. That stuff is awesome!

Yay for finding something to help with adhesive itchiness and rash issues!! I hope that I can use this info to help in my search to make the Dexcom work as I soon make the transition from MM to Dexcom!

Whoah! - is that the Dexcom sensor inserter thingy? - looks deadly!!(We use a Medtronic Enlite sensor - think small grey igloo with green front door for the inserter!!)

Do you cut a hole in it here the sensor travels through?

Amazon has them for $20 for 4! Drugstore.com has almost the same thing (minus the Red Cross name) for $5. How much did you get them for on Amazon?
Johnson & Johnson Tough Pads Hydrocolloid Adhesive Pads (Drugstore.com)

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!! I just experienced my first rash and it is gross and itchy. I LOVE my Dexcom and will try these pads.

BTW, I found a pack of 4, fulfilled by Amazon, for $7.86 instead of $19.99.

Thank you again!

I must have missed something somewhere. You were spraying the site with an inhaler? As in an asthma inhaler? If so, that's kind of cool that it worked. :)

Fascinating. I was just debating trying a product of that sort for my daughter who is having crazy dex reactions right now. Have you tried cutting a hole first? I'm still nervous to deploy through anything...

Does sticking the site over the pad help at all with site peeling? AKA does it stick better to the pad than to skin? because that would be great!

I'm allergic to every adhesive known to man. Seriously. When I first started on Dexcom I had a bad reaction to the tape, and my rep gave me one of those Tough Pads to try. She had me cut a hole in it for the sensor though. I've been using them since and the only time I had a reaction was when I wore the sensor for three weeks, but I think that was pressure from the transmitter housing because the reaction was inside the perimeter of the Tough Pad and shaped just like the transmitter. :) Went away by the next morning with one application of steroid goop. I swear by these things! Glad you found them!

Awesome....i just started having my dd use a steroid inhaler to help with her Omnipod rash (which is horrid). Tegaderm isn't helping either. I'll have to try this!
Thank you for sharing.

Does it help the G4 sensor stick to the site? I have problems all the time with stickiness issues.

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