Experiencing issues with your ExpressionMed adhesives? We’re here to help! Below is some information to help identify the type of skin irritation you are experiencing along with some known remedies. Everyone’s skin is different so there isn’t always a one-size-fits-all solution. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve never had a reaction to an ExpressionMed Tape, why am I having one now?
According to a 2019 study the median duration of sensor use before dermatitis (a reaction caused by allergens or irritants) is 6 months. Meaning it takes time for your skin to “become sensitive” and you have time to prevent such irritation!
Before we dive into what to do if you have a reaction, let’s chat about what types of reactions there are. Whenever your skin starts to get red or itchy the first thing that pops into your mind is, “Oh no! I’m allergic! How will I keep on my expensive cyborg parts if I’m allergic to tape!”
Don’t worry, out of the 3 skin reactions, allergies are the least common, but it is important to know what each reaction is and how to treat and avoid it.
Allergic contact dermatitis (a skin reaction caused by allergies) is a lot less common than Irritant contact dermatitis (a skin reaction caused by an irritant).
Allergic Contact Dermatitis generally presents itself as swelling and water blisters. The blisters may break, forming crusts and scales. Untreated, the skin may darken and become leathery and cracked.
Materials like nickel, latex, rubber, dyes, and even plants such as poison ivy are the most common allergens.
This is exactly why ExpressionMed does not use any latex or natural rubbers that are often used in adhesives. Instead we use a blend of acrylates. There is a .1% chance of an individual having an allergic reaction to acrylates.
If you have a blistering allergic reaction:
Irritant Contact Dermatitis is very common in long wear adhesives.
Itchy, dry, red skin. No liquid filled blisters. Potential swelling.
Based on clinical trials:
There is no risk. In a 21 day straight “cumulative irritation in humans” test, it performed with so little irritation that it could be a surgical tape.
Based on the reality that people with diabetes wear tapes over and over again and a 21 day trial does not represent them: It depends on how often you change your site.
In the above section you read that 6 months is the median amount of time it takes for allergens to cause a reaction with CGM use.
When it comes to irritants, timelines are about the same. If you place any material in the same place for months on end, you have a high risk of developing contact dermatitis at some point.
We recommend identifying multiple comfortable sites that give accurate readings, and to switch between these sites each time you replace your monitor.
Skin Trauma is caused by improper removal of the material and is 100% avoidable.
Only possible by removing the tape aggressively instead of stretching off of skin or utilizing softening agents like oil and unisolve.