Dexcom G4, itchy problem

I have been using a Dexcom G4 for about a year or so and while I love it, I have been having an ongoing issue with the insertion part of it in my skin, itching and hurting. I know its definitely not the tape because when I move at night the only time it hurts or itches, only if the transmitter gets some movement. At night is when I really notice it the most. It actually wakes me up if I hit it wrong. The other day my son pulled on it and I almost started crying because it felt like I was getting stabbed.

Does anyone else have an issue like this? Is it possible I am allergic to that little metal looking piece under the skin?

I don’t know if this will help but I hope so. I have been using the Dexcom G4 and the predecessor for about 2 years prior to switching to Enlite/523 just 3 days ago. I have not had a pain like u described with the Dexcom sites but definitely strong itching at the site from time to time.

If the tape is not bothering you, then is the sensor site (thru the skin) red at all when u remove the sensor? I suspect that it is. If so then it might simply be a local infection/tenderness right at the insertion spot. If that is the case then using some IV prep before inserting the sensor helps me. For years I have used the Smith And Nephew I.V. Prep Wipes - 50/box and I recently bought for $6.35 for the box. After removing the sensor I treated my sites with a triple antibiotic ointment.

I would be surprised if it is an allergic reaction. But I have no experience in that area at all. I really hope this helps.

hi @john1714,

It is pretty red after I take it out, and still itchy!! More itchy than when it’s in! I will try the IV prep again, I think I still have some. I always forget about it!

Hey Gina,
BTW - how do u put in the link to a person like u do??

Then it looks like the redness indicates we are addressing at least a part of the problem - possibly even all of it if the redness builds. Besides the IV prep there are 2 other things that come to mind. 1st, when u remove Dexcom sensor, be sure to put to antibiotic cream on it and take the time to rub it into the site. I use a triple antibiotic cream since over the years I became allergic to two different single antibiotics but doing ok w the triple.

The 2nd thing is from what I have seen, once a site become inflamed and red, it becomes less and less effective and also takes that much longer to recover b4 it can be used again safely & effectively. That makes me think that u are leaving the sensor in tooooo long.

Hey @john1714,

Answer to your first question.
Whenever you see a comment from a person you see their avatar photo to the left, and below it there is the name?

My Photo

All you have to do to talk to a person or the technical term MENTION them is to put the @ symbol in front of their name. So if you want to talk to me you do it like this @Gina and I will be notified!

Dexcom Issue
Actually, I take out the site before 7 days every time because it becomes unbearable for me. A lot of people I know leave it in for like 20 days! I honestly have no idea how they do that. I would say I generally have pretty sensitive skin, I become red pretty easily with certain things, but, the tape never bothers me only the sensor inside. I also never have had a problem with my MM pump irritating me unless I hit a bad spot or a vessel or something. But, I know right away because blood comes through the tubing.

I guess some things can be a mystery! ha

Hey @Gina,

Sounds like u r doing all the right things. How about sites? Are u putting the G4 in different sites than your pump sites? Also how many sites for the G4 and pump are u using?

I only use 4 sites for the sensor both with the Enlite and w the G4, but have about 14 sites in the abdomen area for the pump. I keep them separate and separated. Likely u are doing well on the site side as well.

If that is so, I suggest u consider switching to Medtronic Enlite sensors when it is time to order your next Dexcom G4 set of sensors. They will work fine w the Medtronics 523 pump. You would not have to upgrade your pump prematurely. The Enlite sensors feel easier on the body. They fell easier to adjust too are are a good bit less noticeable to me than the Dexcom. Also if it is some kind of allergic reaction to the Dexcom sensor, the Enlite might be sufficiently dissimilar to give u some relief there.

I switched because I got a few alerts from the Dexcom saying my glucose level was slightly below 80 during the night. However when I went to check it on the meter, the glucose level was in the 40s normally. That is dangerous. Too close to where I might not be able to respond and recover on my own. 2 or 3 times, my wife happened to catch it and I was in trouble because the Dexcom failed to alert me in time.

I am on the Dexcom G4 and I really like it. I don’t have itchiness problems all the time, but sometimes it hits and it can be unbearable. Only once did it become so bad that I took it out without having a new one to put in. I was on a trip and away from home, and when I removed it the skin around the insertion site was very red and sore - and took several days to go away. Just as often I have trouble with the tape not staying in place. I’ve thought it to be enough of a problem to let Dexcom know but haven’t done so yet. At the end of the day I really like the micro-tracking of my BG even though John I agree it’s not always accurate. Never had your experience of it not tracking terrible lows, that sounds scary.


I have a huge problem with tape not sticking either. Only with CGM though. It is so weird because I don’t have that issue with my pump sites unless I am doing vigorous exercise.

I have tried both the older Medtronic CGM sensor and the older Dexcom sensor and both were unbearably itchy. I went off the CGM for about a year and a half and then decided to use the newest Dexcom sensor (the G4). It is much more accurate for me than the older sensor was but I still have the itchiness problem. When I take the site out (only leave it in for 7 days), it takes everything I have not to scratch until it bleeds due to the extreme itchiness at the site. I use the triple antibiotic cream to help me, but I have to admit I was hoping maybe Dexcom could have improved the extreme itchiness of their adhesive on the individual sensors. If the three of us have problems with itching, don’t you think there might be hundreds more who don’t post who are having problems as well? I think it is way past time this issue is addressed with ALL CGM companies. I think persons with diabetes probably have sensitive skin anyway but to leave adhesive that itches like crazy for so many people is ludicrous. Why don’t they develop a better and less itchy adhesive?

I had the itchy problem a lot. Try I started these a year ago I just cut a tiny hole in the pad where the wire gets shoved through and NO ITCH! :slight_smile:


Thank you! I am going to go out and find some of these. I bet it helps with my issue of the tape not adhering well also.

Mine gets itchy when it’s at the end of its life. Sometimes I’ll get a painful site too, but not very often. I hope you figure out the problem with yours!

I have only had the Dexcom since November and don’t use it regularly (at $80/site I can’t afford to even though I get reimbursed haha). I had some problems with itching after I removed the site and a small rash for a week or so after. I talked to Animas about this and they suggested a) not using any of the IV prep that helps the adhesive stick and b) when I put tape/film over it, to cut a hole around the actual sensor so it can breath c) if neither of those work, using a tape underneath and cutting a hole for the plastic “needle” to go through so the site adhesive isn’t actually touching my skin. :slight_smile:

H have followed @ryantreece’s advice and cut a hole in some tape, put it down first, and insert the CGM on top of the hole. It works really well - no itchy and it no longer peels off after a day or two. @natrie I’m not in as bad a boat as it sounds like you are, but my insurance only sends me 4 sensors a month so I can’t afford any short weeks due to the CGM coming off.

@theresakathleenc - Yeah I don’t wear mine every week. I usually take a week or two or three depending on what activities I’m doing, how many lows, etc.

Have you tried calling tech support when they have fallen off in the past? I had two sites fail in December and found out in February I could’ve called tech support and gotten two sent to me for free - they did send them to me but I didn’t know that until I was calling in an order and the customer service person was doing a survey with me to get feedback on the device. They put me through to tech support after and a few days later I received them in the mail! I’m sure if you are having issues with the tape they will replace some of the sensors…worth a shot! :slight_smile:

@ryantreece, I am going to try your advice this weekend and let you guys know how it goes! Thanks!!

I used to get angry welts from the tape on the G4. Here is my work around - spray the area I am going to put my sensor with a skin prep (I use Silesse which has just changed names to Sensi-Care) it is a 100% silicone skin barrier, then I use Skin Tac adhesive and then place the sensor. This works well and as long as I totally cover the area with the barrier I have no skin problems.

I also have the itchy problem and have ever since I changed from the older Dexcom CGM to the G4. I have tried many things and analyzed the problem. I came to the conclusion that creams, bandages etc. were neither the solution nor its cause. The problem is due to the fact that the cradle in which the transmitter sits is too high off the skin. When you move it can get pulled slightly and this is what ultimately leads to the itchiness. The older Dexcom device (that is pre-G4) was lower and closer to the skin and problem did not occur - at least not for me. The greater height of the cradle means that any motion that tends to move the cradle/sensor/transmitter package result in a bigger displacement. That is what, after many of such movements, causes the itchiness because the pin sensor is jerked each time. I discovered this after doing exercise and decidedly so after I was crawling under the house while fixing a plumbing problem. In fact, on several occasions the entire package was pulled off my stomach. It had been mere;y itchy - now it was pulled off completely.

I reported this to Dexcom well over a year ago. I also suggested the solution - mount the package closer to the skin. That is, use a thinner battery in the transmitter or make the cradle thinner. They have now done the latter and the new equipment is available. Well, not quite! They told me they had to get rid of all the old cradles and would be releasing the newer ones only as the older ones were running. They could not guarantee shipping me one of the newer ones until the older ones had been shipped!

I was not pleased, particularly as it is I who suggested the cause of the itchiness and to the solution of the problem.