Sensors and scarring

Hi all

I'm asking this question on behalf of a friend, who wears a CGMS for most of the time.(I wear one sporadically so I couldn't give him any insight into this one).

He's starting to get a line of red spots, where the CGMS sensors have been. He is concerned that the skin scars may reflect underlying tissue scarring that may result in the areas becoming poor sensor sites. Has anyone got any insight into this? Or does anyone else get scarring from the sensors that seems to last a while?

His other question relates to length of time that the sensors are in. Has anyone found a difference in the marks on the skin between the older 3-day sensors vs the 6-day ones?

We'd be grateful to hear of any experiences and the marks tend to go away after a while? I've tended to find that mine do, but then again, I don't wear sensors all the time!

Which CGMS is your friend using?? I think that may be part of the problem. I have used both the Medtronic and Dexcom CGM, the thicker medtronic sensor line was a little more irritating to the skin. However, I never really noticed any red lines. I due my best to rotate the sites as far as possible to prevent healing. Is your friend using only one area for the sensor and does he use a pump as well?? Because it could just be that the rotation between sensor sites and infusion sites from the pump may not be far enough apart to prevent proper healing. Let me know and I will try to answer more.

Hi Brian

Thank you for your response. He uses the medtronic sensors. We're tucked away in Oz, and I don't think I've even heard of the Dexcom, other than what some have written here. My friend doesn't use a pump. I've mentioned rotation of the sites before. Maybe I should mention it again?

I would be interested if you have any additional thoughts on the matter.


Hi, perhaps l'm a little slow, but why would you use a sensor without a pump?


Ah...he's not sold on the idea of a pump at this stage, but enjoys the benefit of continuous monitoring to assist with determining insulin doses etc.

I use a CGM without a pump Rochelle. Why NOT??

I have the dexcom, and when I got it, my trainer told me it shouldn't cause scarring b/c it's not like anything is going in, like an insulin pump. Once the sensor is puled out, it's just like a scab that needs to heal. I wear my dexcom for 7-10 days at a time. If anything, it's just my skin that gets irritated, but gets better after I remove the tape.

Because I use Medtronics, pump and sensor, I don't know how other products work.  My sensor reads out through my pump.  Perhaps other brands of sensors have another way to view details.

The sensor as a freelance thing is great. There is no need to be using both at the same time. One of the biggest things that is nice about the Dexcom system is that the sensor uses a much smaller needle and I feel does less internal damage. As long as there is able site rotation with the Medtronic CGM things should be okay. However, I am able to leave my sensor in for about 12 or so days before I need to rotate it. I mean that is great and less site moving. As long as your friend keeps moving sites it should limit the scarring. Also, I know it is a pain in the bumm but he should try to use Neosporin to heal on up.

I just started using the Medtronic sensors and have had problems with them.  I can't get them into my skin.  The inserter spring apparently ins't strong enough (Minimed told me this) to get the entire sensor into my body.  One night, I wasted 10 of the sensors before I finally gave in and stopped wearing it.  My abdomen is scarred from this one night of trying to get this thing in.  My diabetes educator said to try other spots on my body, but I'm not sure if I'm brave enough yet. I hope your friend gets this problem fixed.