The Dexcom G6 is one of the best CGMs. The Dexcom G6 sensor reads our blood glucose levels and helps us with diabetes management. Compared to other diabetic supplies, the Dexcom G6 CGM is critical - but it's also very vulnerable. We must protect our Dexcom G6 sensors from what life can throw at them.
Why do I need to protect my Dexcom G6 sensor?
Without our Dexcom G6 sensor, we must revert to manual blood glucose testing. This sudden change can affect how we work, our mental health, and our physical health.
How does a Dexcom G6 sensor falling off put your health & diabetes management at risk?
People with diabetes without a CGM sensor will, on average, perform eight to twelve blood glucose fingerprick tests per day. But the Dexcom G6 sensor will take 288 blood glucose readings in that same 24-hour period.
This lack of data makes it harder to see trends in our blood glucose. So, losing our Dexcom G6 sensor increases our risk of hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia.
When your Dexcom G6 falls off, it creates stress and anxiety
If you find your Dexcom G6 falling off, you won't be happy. Your mind might start to race, and a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings may flood your mind.
- How much will a Dexcom G6 cost on insurance?
- If you don't have insurance, can you afford the cost of a Dexcom G6?
- What if you can't afford to buy a Dexcom G6? What's plan B?
- How long until you can replace your Dexcom G6?
- What do you do until your new Dexcom G6 CGM arrives?
- You may blame yourself for your Dexcom G6 coming off.
- You may feel embarrassed about your Dexcom G6 falling off.
- You'll feel frustrated about your Dexcom G6 falling off.
- Will you have enough test strips until your replacement Dexcom G6 arrives? Do you need to buy more test strips?
- What other diabetes supplies might I need more of in the short term?
And so much more.
What should I do if my Dexcom G6 sensor comes off?
Prioritise your Health
Straight away, you need to make sure you have access to a blood glucose meter, lancets, lancing device, and blood glucose test strips.
Check your blood glucose frequently, prioritize your safety, and focus on diabetes management. Fingersticks, like in the video below, are the only way you'll be able to see your blood glucose levels without a Dexcom CGM on.
How can I get a replacement Dexcom G6?
With our diabetes management covered, it's time to get back to normal. Let's get a new Dexcom G6.
- You can contact Dexcom to discuss replacing your Dexcom G6 sensor and the cost of a new Dexcom sensor.
- If you're insured, you'll also want to know how much a replacement Dexcom G6 costs with insurance.
- If prescribed by the NHS, you should be able to get a new Dexcom G6 free.
- If you pay for your Dexcom G6 privately in the UK, a replacement Dexcom G6 will cost around £50.
- Report that your Dexcom fell off. If there is a product fault, you will often get a new Dexcom sensor sent to you.
Why is my Dexcom G6 falling off?
You can avoid all of the pains above once you know how to protect your Dexcom CGM.
But to do this, we need to understand what can knock our Dexcom G6 off and what features already exist to protect our Dexcom G6 patch against coming off.
Here are some things that knocked Dexcom G6 sensors off for some of our customers before discovering Type One Style.
- Catching their Dexcom G6 on a door frame.
- Their toddler pulled the Dexcom G6 off.
- The Dexcom sensor adhesive patch wasn't sticky enough and peeled after a few days.
- Like with hot weather or sports, excess sweat weakened the Dexcom patch adhesive, and it started to peel.
- A peeled sensor adhesive caught on their bedding, causing the Dexcom sensor to be ripped off.
How is the Dexcom G6 designed to stay on our skin?
Of course, the adhesive patch built into the Dexcom G6 sensor is meant to keep the CGM on for the full 10-days. There are several ways this happens and many things to consider as a Dexcom user that influence the wear time of your Dexcom G6 CGM.
How does the Dexcom applicator improve sensor adhesion?
The Dexcom applicator fires the Dexcom sensor patch onto the surface of your skin.
Because the Dexcom applicator applies the sensor with considerable force, more adhesive enters the surface of your skin, causing more adhesive bonds to form. As more adhesive bonds form, your Dexcom G6 sensor is more likely to stay on for the entire 10-day wear time.
Where do you apply your Dexcom CGM?
There are many locations on the body to apply your Dexcom G6 sensor.
Choosing the right place to apply the Dexcom G6 is critical, and where we apply our CGM is a crucial factor in how likely we are to knock it off.
Can you put Dexcom CGMs on your arm?
Of all the places to put your Dexcom G6 on your body, applying the sensor to your arm is a great idea. For most of us, this is out of the way of daily life.
Clearly, the best place to put the Dexcom G6 is the back of your arm. Because your Dexcom sensor is out of the way, it reduces your risk of catching it and knocking it - Dexcom suggests this here.
How do I choose an application site for my Dexcom sensor?
Firstly, you want to choose an application site that protects your Dexcom G6 from your day-to-day activities - like the back of the arm. But there are also other things to consider, as recommended by diabetes educators here:
- Avoid choosing a location that may become sweaty in the first 24 hours. If you can't avoid sweating, perhaps because of your job, choose a sensor application site that doesn't sweat as much.
- Don't apply your Dexcom sensor in areas where your skin can fold as you move or on joints, bones, and other uneven surfaces.
- Choose a sensor application site at least 3 inches away from any insulin pump infusion sites or injection sites.
How do I prepare my skin to apply a Dexcom sensor?
You'll need a few different tools to prepare your skin and apply your Dexcom sensor. We've listed these essential diabetes supplies below:
- You'll need soap and water. Dexcom recommends, here, washing the sensor application site first.
- If you have oily skin, you'll need a gentle exfoliator.
- You may need a razor or trimmer to remove excess hair at the CGM sensor application site.
- You'll need an adhesive remover wipe to remove any residue from your previous Dexcom sensor.
- You'll need antibacterial wipes to clean your sensor application site.
- If the Dexcom sensor patch irritates your skin, you can also try a barrier wipe or film. Dexcom references this one.
- Dexcom even suggests using a hairdryer to dry the site before application, especially in humid environments.
How do I apply my Dexcom G6 sensor?
You've taken the time to prepare your skin for CGM insertion, so you'll want to get the actual Dexcom application perfect. We've listed the key steps for applying your Dexcom G6 CGM below and in a dedicated guide here.
How to apply your Dexcom G6 in 5 key steps:
- Choose a suitable site to apply your Dexcom G6 sensor.
- Prepare your skin using the range of equipment suggested, like antibacterial wipes, and allow the application site to dry completely.
- Press the applicator firmly onto the site for 30-60 seconds to improve patch adhesion. Then, push the button to insert the sensor.
- Immediately and firmly rub around the patch three times, and smooth out any wrinkles to improve your Dexcom patch adhesion.
- Apply your protective overpatch (detailed in the rest of this guide), and then ensure your Dexcom site does not get wet or sweaty over the next 24 hours.
You can find more information on Dexcom sensor application in Dexcom's guide here.
How do I keep my Dexcom G6 on for the full 10-day wear time?
Keeping your Dexcom G6, or any CGM, on for the full-time is an art. So far, we have covered:
- How to choose the best location on your body to apply the Dexcom G6
- How to prepare your skin before applying a Dexcom G6
- How to apply the Dexcom G6 in five key steps
But what if you're already doing all of this? What if your Dexcom G6 is coming off anyway? Does your CGM fall off often?
Keeping your Dexcom G6 on for the full 10-days is where Type One Style comes in. We specialize in ensuring your Dexcom G6 stays on for the full wear time by using our advanced Dexcom patches. You may already know them as Dexcom tapes, stickers, overlays, or covers.
What are Dexcom G6 patches?
Dexcom patches are adhesive sensor covers used to reinforce your Dexcom sensor. They slot over and around the G6 transmitter, stick to your skin and strengthen the Dexcom sensor patch.
You may have come across Dexcom adhesive patches before - but they can go by quite a few different names:
- Dexcom stickers
- Dexcom tapes
- Dexcom over patches
- Dexcom overlays
- Dexcom covers
- Dexcom sleeves
- Dexcom CGM patches
So, it can get quite confusing when searching the internet to find the right adhesive patch for you. Luckily, you can easily explore all of our Dexcom G6 patches in one place here. We've even linked the list above so you can explore random Dexcom patch designs.
What are CGM patches used for?
Dexcom patches are one of our most critical diabetic supplies. We know how expensive and distressing it is to replace a Dexcom G6 that fell off - so how can we justify not using adhesive patches?
Adhesive patches work like an insurance policy, protecting your Dexcom from coming off and even stopping your Omnipod or Freestyle Libre from falling off.
What's important to look for in a CGM patch?
Functionality is the most crucial feature of any CGM patch. You need to know your adhesive patch has the right technology to protect your CGM and is made from high-quality, accredited materials.
When choosing a Dexcom patch, if the features aren't listed, they aren't there. Always read the product description, and don't risk a £50 Dexcom G6 sensor with a £0.89 patch.
You need to choose a Dexcom patch with these features:
- A hypoallergenic, safe, and ISO accredited medical adhesive to protect your skin. ISO accreditation is a global hallmark of quality and is difficult to get.
- A breathable material that does not cause your skin to sweat underneath your Dexcom patch. Ask your patch provider what their MVTR value is (breathability testing data). You can ask us here.
- Choose an overpatch with reasonable pricing. If it's too good to be true (like a £0.10 patch), it most likely is. It's not worth the risk.
- Choose a provider with lots of reviews. If thousands of others enjoy the Dexcom patch, then, statistically, it'll be perfect for you too.
- Choose a provider with lots of different designs and styles! Who said diabetes couldn't be pretty? Add some fun to your Dexcom routine.
- Choose a patch provider with good customer support. Everyone has a different skin type. You'll need a company that can help you and supports you with nuances and queries about using your Dexcom patch.
So, if you've followed the previous steps and have selected a high-quality adhesive patch or tape for your CGM, you will get the full 10-day wear time for your Dexcom G6.
How do Dexcom patches work?
Dexcom tapes and patches work in a variety of ways. The way the Dexcom patch works depends on the function. We have covered some common questions below.
How does an adhesive patch stop my Dexcom G6 from falling off?
Our patches and tapes stop your Dexcom from coming off because they provide a wider adhesion surface area. The patches are broader and longer than the Dexcom G6 sensor so that the patches can bind to more skin.
Because the Dexcom overlay overlaps with the actual Dexcom G6 sensor patch, it provides mechanical support. Let's look at an example below:
How an adhesive patch provides mechanical resistance to knocking off your CGM
- You're walking through a doorway, and suddenly your Dexcom G6 catches on the wooden frame.
- Your Dexcom suddenly experiences massive impact force.
- Because of this force, your Dexcom G6 wants to lift and come off. But, the adhesive under the Dexcom sensor patch resists this.
- If the impact force is too great, the small adhesive footprint provided by the actual Dexcom sensor patch won't be sufficient, and your Dexcom may come off.
- If you're using a Dexcom overlay patch, you have a much wider surface area. You have almost three times more adhesive bonds between the Dexcom overpatch and your skin than you would without an overpatch.
- With three times more adhesive bonds, your patch can resist three times the impact force than without a patch.
- So, the adhesive patch you used makes it three times less likely that your Dexcom G6 sensor can be knocked off.
How do Type One Style patches absorb and redirect sudden impact forces to stop your CGM from coming off?
The first law of thermodynamics is that energy cannot be created or destroyed - it can only be transferred.
When you knock your Dexcom, the force comes up from the Dexcom patch underneath the Type One Style overlay as the sensor tries to come off.
Our adhesive tapes transfer this impact energy into the molecular adhesive bonds of the patch. These bonds then stretch before releasing the impact energy and returning to normal.
There is also the tensile strength of the material. Type One Style uses a special non-woven fabric that provides tensile strength and torsional resistance.
These features mean that impact force is dissipated in the fabric's elastic potential and mechanical properties, further reducing the stress on your Dexcom G6 sensor.
A Type One Style patch is not just a patch; it is a shock absorber and a shield for your Dexcom G6.
Everything we do, everything we claim, is backed up by tests, data, and research.
Is Dexcom G6 waterproof? Can Dexcom G6 get wet? Can I shower with a Dexcom G6?
Yes, yes, and yes. The Dexcom G6 can get wet, and waterproof patches will help stop your Dexcom from coming off.
Dexcom states that the G6 transmitter and the sensor patch are water-resistant and will survive up to 24 hours submerged under eight feet of water.
Currently, there is no guidance on how water resistant the Dexcom G6 is at depths greater than eight feet. The deeper you go, the greater the pressure, and more testing is needed to understand this.
Can I go swimming with a Dexcom G6?
Yes. But, you'll need an adhesive overpatch. The Dexcom sensor patch is only water-resistant, not waterproof. Your Dexcom sensor patch may start peeling after repeated swimming sessions and showers.
How can showering or swimming cause a CGM to come off?
As you swim or shower with your Dexcom, water molecules bombard the edge of the adhesive. The force of the water will gradually cause the edge of the sensor patch to lift.
As the patch lifts, the water will compromise the non-waterproof adhesive under the Dexcom sensor, and your Dexcom G6 may fall off.
Use a waterproof patch to protect your Dexcom G6 while showering or swimming
All Type One Style patches are completely waterproof. Once the adhesive has bonded with your skin, the presence of water doesn't affect the bonds.
You can swim with your Dexcom as much as you like, and your Type One Style patch will never fail or lift due to water.
So, when you have extra protection from a Type One Style patch, your Dexcom will not come off in the shower or when swimming.
So, we know how Dexcom sensors fall off, how to prepare our skin, how to apply the Dexcom sensor, and how patches work to protect the sensor. But how do you apply a Dexcom overlay patch?
How do I apply a patch to my Dexcom G6?
The final step to complete your Dexcom G6 application is to apply your protective patch around the transmitter. Applying your Dexcom patch is quick and easy. We have explained the steps below, including a video, but you can also read our dedicated guide here.
Seven essential steps to applying your Dexcom patch:
- Choose the patch design you wish to apply, and make sure you have completed all of the preparation steps we covered earlier.
- Ensure the site around your Dexcom G6 sensor is prepared exactly as the skin was for your sensor application.
- Peel a small part of the release paper away from the patch, and fold the backing paper in half.
- Line the patch up with the Dexcom transmitter and firmly stick the top part of the overlay patch down.
- Then, gently pull the backing paper down to apply the patch, smoothing it with your finger as you go. Do not touch the patch adhesive.
- Once your Dexcom patch is applied, firmly smooth over it with your finger 2 to 3 times, smoothing out all air bubbles and creases.
- Do not get your over patch wet or sweaty for the next 24 hours so that the special adhesive can mature to maximum strength. Keeping your Dexcom patch dry for the next 24 hours is critical.
How to take your Dexcom patch off safely
While we're here, we should cover this. You should not rip or pull on your Dexcom patch with force, as this can cause trauma to the skin.
Instead, peel the edge of the Dexcom patch and gently lift it off, pulling in the opposite direction to where you picked up the edge of the Dexcom patch. Generally, it's best to remove your Dexcom patch in the shower.
Why are Type One Style patches the best CGM patches for my Dexcom?
Many reasons. It starts with who we are. We are Dexcom users with Type One Diabetes - we know what it's like, how it feels, and how Dexcom sensors fall off.
We are scientific experts in the physics and biology of *how* patches work. We work with facts and back up our claims with research and transparency.
Seven reasons why Type One Style makes the best CGM patches for Dexcom G6
Type One Style patches are filled with proven, tested, and innovative technology. We maintain performance data on our claims and have prestigious ISO accreditation to back them up.
Type One Style over patches:
- Protect your Dexcom G6 from knocks, bumps, and toddlers with a special, powerful contact-adhesive on the patch.
- Make your Dexcom sensor patch waterproof, no matter how much swimming you do. Check out Kat's story about this here.
- Help prevent skin irritation. We make our Dexcom patches and tapes with patented technology and hypoallergenic medical materials.
- Reduce how often you catch your Dexcom G6 on materials like bed linen because our Dexcom overlays are frayproof.
- Help you embrace your Dexcom G6 and express yourself through over 200 beautiful patch styles and Dexcom stickers.
- Provide durable, strong adhesion that keeps your Dexcom G6 patch on for up to 20 days (if you are re-using your Dexcom G6 sensors).
- Reduce the anxiety around Dexcom changes for children, shifting the focus to choosing a design for their Dexcom sticker or patch.
Thousands of people trust our patches - just like we trust them to protect our co-founder Emma's Dexcom G6.
So, what design will you choose for your Dexcom patch?
We have over 200+ designs for our Dexcom patch, and Dexcom sticker ranges to ensure you have a style that matches you. You can browse the collections by clicking the links below:
- Artistic Dexcom Patches
- Animal Dexcom Patches
- Cultural Dexcom Patches
- Fashion Dexcom Patches
- Floral Dexcom Patches
- Foodie Dexcom Patches
- Kids Dexcom Patches
- Nature Dexcom Patches
- Solid Colour Dexcom Patches
- Sports Dexcom Patches
You can even get Dexcom patches for causes you care about most
It's important to us that patches protect your Dexcom G6 and raise awareness every day for members of the public that see them.
Currently, you can shop the below causes:
- Mental Health Awareness Dexcom Patches
- Diabetes Awareness Dexcom Patches
- Diabulimia Awareness Dexcom Patches
- Neurodiversity Awareness Dexcom Patches
- Disability Awareness Dexcom Patches
- Pride Awareness Dexcom Patches
Check out Marnie & Emma raising awareness for Mental Health in diabetes by wearing their Dexcom G6 patches out in London.
Thank you for your time. We appreciate you reading our article, and we sincerely hope that this has helped you understand why your Dexcom may be coming off.
You can contact us seven days a week, 24 hours a day, for support with your Dexcom patch order.