Freestyle Libre - Allergic Reaction

I have been using the Freestyle Libre sensor system for over 2 years, changing sites every 2 weeks etc… However, a few months ago my skin started to show allergic reactions (i.e. rashes and blistering) - probably I developed a contact allergy to the adhesive tape: Has anyone experienced similar reactions? Are there any ways to prevent or alleviate these reactions (e.g. I tried to put Tegaderm below it but I would still get the same issues)?

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Spray Flonase on your skin before putting the sensor on. This should alleviate any skin reactions to the adhesive.


I’ve found that Benadryl helps with allergic reactions, including those affecting the skin. Check with your doctor re effects on blood sugar - I haven’t used it in a very long time and can’t recall.

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Thanks for your suggestions. I will try these and see if they work

Im my experience, Benadryl doesn’t or hasn’t effected my bg at all. Curious to hear what others experience has been!

I had some weird blood glucose swings while taking benadryl and claritin. Nothing terrible. I probably could have adjusted my insulin doses to accommodate, but I didn’t really believe my symptoms at the time really were allergies anyway, so I decided it was easier to just stop taking the allergy medications.

I’ve been using the Libre a couple of years also, never had a problem after taking one off and having a skin irritation, just a little redness. The past couple of months though I do get a lot of irritated redness type rash. It’s a perfect crop circle for everyone to see at the gym. I use A&D ointment and neosporin for a few days until it clears up. It’s always healed for the next sensor 14 days later. I’m wondering if my dryer skin this winter has something to do with it

I have recently had the exact same thing happen to me. The rash is really itchy and lasts long after I remove the sensor. I have stopped using the Libre because of it. However, I have to say I am actually enjoying not having it on. I didn’t realize how much I was checking it, how many times a day I was having to be cautious about not putting pressure on the sensor because of where it is, cautions about not ripping it off when I change (esp sports bra). It feels better not having it! I do have to finger stick more, but at this point, I really prefer that!


I have had the exact same reaction. I have been using the Freestyle Libre for about a year and now I have unsightly skin rashes, They have obviously changed the adhesive. I am African-American so my rashes went from red to black and they look terrible. I’ve been applying aloa vera and Vitamin E hoping the rashes won’t scar my skin.

I’m wondering about some of the skin barrier adhesives that are out there, such as Tegaderm. Assuming of course that it doesn’t cause its own sensitivity response, you could cut a little hole for the filament and tape the sensor on top of the skin barrier.
Now one thing I have noticed about Freestyle when I’ve used it - it does tend to wrinkle and pull off after a few days. But it could be my skin type, lotion use or other factors affected it, and there may be other barrier adhesives that last longer.

I tried that idea with using Tegaderm under the sensor - both with and without cutting out a small hole. Without cutting out a hole (i.e. putting on the skin barrier first and then trying to go through it with the applicator) the metal part of the sensor won’t go through it. And cutting out a hole renders the skin barrier useless since the skin will still get in contact with the original adhesive and i get the the same rashes. My dermatologist prescribed impoyz which helps with healing the skin afterwards but so far nothing prevents the rashes from developing. Apparently it’s a contact allergy to the adhesive isobornyl acrylate and quite common as it seems from other forums

Heyy everyone!
I’ve been having the same exact problem with my freestyle libre
I’ve used it for about 3 months now and it was completely fine till this batch that I started using (which expires this month) and I’ve been getting an itchy rash at the site of attachment. It’s itchy, red and has blisters on it. I removed 2 already (one after 6 days of attachment and the other after 2) due to severe itching and irritation.
Idk what’s causing this as I had no issues with my previous ones (which was a different batch)

Could it be a fault in the batch? The batch that I’m having trouble with currently is the one that was to be expired on 30/04/2020

What are you guys doing to deal with this? I feel horrible for wasting my libre and I also don’t want to stop using it@

Hello all. This is just a suggestion: if you get your Libre at the pharmacy, ask them to give you boxes from different lot numbers of possible - if one is bothersome you’ll at least have a different one to try since there may have been production issues with one of them. To be honest this is just a thought and I’ve never tried it, but it could be worth a shot. I’m on great terms with my pharmacist and am pretty sure she would help me if she could if I explained my problem.

After using the 14 day sensors recently I had the same reactions as mentioned above. Swelling…Blistering…Etc…I decided to get a little creative and use a piece of Green Frog tape as a base for the sensor to attach to. I did not pre-cut any holes and used the applicator to install the sensor directly on to the frog tape…I followed the MFG recommendations for installation just used the frog tape as an insulator… I then placed a (7day) Clear waterproof Bandage over the sensor. During the day I wear a small Ace bandage around my arm to protect all the items…It’s been working great. No reactions or itching.,Best of all no finger sticks!

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I’ve been using the Freestyle Libre sensors for over a year and was getting an adverse reaction to the adhesive. The site would be itchy and I when I removed the sensor there would be a rash under it. I tried a number of remedies before finally finding one that alleviated the problem. I use a protective skin wipe that I rub on before applying a new sensor. It acts as a barrier between my skin and the sensor’s adhesive. The product is called Uro-Prep and is made by UroCare. The product comes in individual wipes with 50 to a box and can be purchased online. I hope this helps others with the same problem.

Thank you for your concern. I am looking for a solution. If I find one, I’ll let you know.

It was a pain to line up a hole in the tape I tried to use. Using Green Frog tape maybe a solution I can use. I am going to test it. Just with no sensor to see how long it stays on. I have stopped using the FreeStyle Libre system because of the allergic contact dermatitis caused by isobornyl acrylate. I wish Abbott Labs would look into this, I contacted them and they said they were not doing anything about it. I really liked the FreeStyle Libre system, I hope I can use it again.Thanks for your post. I hopefully might be able to report it works for me too.

Hi. I’m back again. A couple more thoughts crossed my mind that I thought I would share: have you ever used a liquid bandage? Painting around the site might help. Also I was looking for adhesive tape for my Dexcom, and as I was scrolling around I found some for the Libre that do not have holes, and appear to be flat in the center rather then being raised - so you could make a small hole (as someone did with :frog:tape) if you need It to avoid issues with insertion or reception. You could consult with a dermatologist or allergist for treatment options.
EZPatch for Enlite, Guardian, Libre Adhesive Patches; Hypoallergenic Waterproof CGM Tape; Libre Sensor Covers Waterproof Adhesive; Oval Adhesive Patch; No Hole Black Patch 25 Pcs

I recently experienced the same issue and I’ve been using these sensors for over a year. I’m now trying Tegaderm under the sensor. Like (gg213) said, “without cutting out a hole (i.e. putting on the skin barrier first and then trying to go through it with the applicator) the metal part of the sensor won’t go through it.” I also tired and unfortunately wasted a sensor. Here’s what I did today:

Note: It sounds like a lot of steps, but I don’t have to do this for another 14 days! I prefer this more than finger pricks. I also don’t have to carry anything other than my smartphone to check my levels. :slight_smile:


  1. Clean the area of course
  2. Apply Skin Tac to make the Tagederm able to stick way better. (Since it’s only meant for 7 day wear)
  3. Clean the top of the Tegaderm with alcohol to remove oils from your fingers if you touched the top. Prepare it by outlining where you’ll apply the sensor and punch a hole in the center. (Steps for this below)
  4. Apply the Tagederm
  5. Apply Skin Tac on top of the Tegaderm where your sensor will go, not all over it.
  6. Apply Sensor by lining it to the outline you made and it will go right through the tiny hole you made.

How I cut the holes:

  1. Take any old Libre sensor applicator and use it to trace a circle outline on the Tagederm film right in the center (I use a sharpie that comes right off with an alcohol wipe after I’ve applied the sensor)
  2. Use a hole punch right in the middle where your filament will go though

Here’s the hole punch I used :

Film size I use:
Tegaderm Transparent Adhesive Film Dressing Picture Frame Style 2-3/8" x 2-3/4" - 20ct

You don’t need the hole very large so the amount of actual Libre adhesive that will be in contact with your skin will be very tiny and should help with the rash. You’ll be going from 4.5cm diameter of contact to less than 4mm.

I will provide an update on how this held up in 14 days. I work out 4 times a week and specifically my arms twice a week.

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I think some people on the forum have done some detective work and found that the manufacturer changed the adhesive, and they were sensitive to the new one. I’m rather surprised they don’t seem to take that into consideration as part of the manufacturing process - or that they perhaps assume a change in the adhesive would work for everyone.
I imagine it would be helpful to note on the package which type was used, and once we know what does it doesn’t work, so could select “Elmer’s Glue” or “Rubber Cement” adhesive (yes I’m being facetious) when we place our order.

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