Tape tips: Getting the most out of your infusion set and sensor this summer

Hat, sunglasses, lotion and tablet on beach tower

With summer upon us, we receive so many questions about how to make the most out of your infusion set and glucose sensor sites. It’s a busy time of year, typically with lots of water, sweat and even sand! Here are some great tips straight from our website to help you better prepare for summer!


Infusion Set Tape Tips

Plan your site change 

Plan your site change around your shower, so you can clean the site well. Before you shower, remove your old infusion set and clean off the adhesive if your skin appears to be sticky. Once you’re in the shower, make sure to wash off both your old and new insertion sites. If you can’t plan your site change around a shower, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water as well as the area where you’re going to put your infusion set. 



Once ready to put in your infusion set, disinfect your skin with isopropyl alcohol or an alcohol wipe. Let your skin dryI.V. Prep wipes thoroughly before applying either the infusion set or the adhesive. In summer, it might be especially important to apply a prep wipe (like the one available through our online store here: IV Prep) in a large area around the site and fan it, allowing it to become sticky. If necessary, you can also try a stronger adhesive, such as Mastisol, but make sure to have Detachol® solvent available for removal. 

Especially important during summer, make sure to avoid using oils and lotions around the area of insertion. For optimal adhesion, you might want to shave excessive body hair around your insertion site. 


Sandwich Method 

For added security (with infusion sets only), the Sandwich Method, suggests you apply a clear adhesive dressing (for example:Infusion Set IV3000, Tegaderm™, or Polyskin™) directly  to your skin. Insert the infusion set through the clear adhesive dressing (follow the instructions for inserting infusion sets). The adhesive on the infusion set will be sticking to the clear adhesive dressing instead of sticking directly to your skin, which helps with sweat. 


Antiperspirant Method 

Using a non-deodorant solid or spray (no gels or creams) antiperspirant on your infusion set or sensor site prior to insertion sometimes helps the tape stick better. Apply around your chosen site and allow it to soak in for 10-15 minutes. Then, clean the site with soap and water to remove any excess from skin and make sure to clean your solid stick antiperspirant with an alcohol wipe. 

When inserting your infusion set try to touch as little of the adhesive as possible on the infusion set to avoid gettingMiniMed Quik-set change tutorial video skin oils on it. Then insert your infusion set following the process and techniques you were shown during training or review this support video

Especially important during summer, if you’re going to be very active, sweating or swimming, cover the site with additional adhesive tape. You might also try using additional tape on the corners to prevent them from peeling up and lifting the entire infusion site out. 

Make sure to check regularly to make sure the tubing is not pulling on the site and adding stress on the adhesive and when all else fails, change the site!


CGM Sensor Tape Tips

No Sandwiches or Skin Prep 

While we gave some great tips above for infusion sets, inserting the glucose sensor through any barrier may damage the sensor, so make sure not to use the Sandwich Method, a skin prep/barrier wipe or tape! 


Enlite™ Overtape Method 

1. The first step is to apply the Enlite overtape. 

2. Remove the large paper backing marked with a number 1 from the overtape (but not the two smaller tabs on the sides of the overtape just yet.) Hold the overtape by the covered ends and apply one side of the overtape so that the half of the side of the tape covers the round part of the sensor and the other half covers the skin securely. It is very important that both the skin and the sensor are covered to ensure the sensor stays inserted. 

3. Next, stretch the remaining part of the overtape around the sensor connector so that it sticks to the adhesive pad but does not block the "bumble bee" or sensor connector. Smooth down the tape that was placed on the skin and then remove the two paper tabs marked with a number 2 from the sides of the overtape. 

4. Finally, press the remaining overtape against the skin to eliminate any air pockets. 

Especially during the summer, you might need additional tape.  There are two options for the enhanced taping method: 

Option 1 – Leaving the back of the transmitter open to allow for better ventilationInfusion set taping visual 

Option 2 – Covering the back of the transmitter to help reduce the chances of the transmitter catching on clothes. 

For additional tips to improve adhesion and reduce skin irritation, including hypoallergenic options, here is another great resource. 

If you’ve recently switched to the Guardian Sensor 3, you might also find these tips helpful. 

One last thing - don’ forget to CONNECT the transmitter!


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Submitted by Marshall Ringler (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I'll add one suggestion. I have problems with the infusion site adhesive peeling up around the edges after a few days, so I use the "extra" sensor overtape around the infusion site (I have to cut a small notch out of the tape so it fits) to hold the infusion site adhesive down more securely. I do this year-round.

Submitted by Nancy (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

None of these work for sensor in hot weather. I live in Florida and do crossfit. When I used all listed methods, had to replace tape almost daily. Find tape online called Grifgrips and it is awesome. Stays secure thru sweaty weather the whole six days and does not cause my skin to break out.

Submitted by Beth (not verified) on

In reply to by Nancy (not verified)

Thank you so much Nancy. We too live in Florida and my husband has issues with this. I will look this up. Again, thank you so much

Submitted by Jamie Schull (not verified) on

In reply to by Nancy (not verified)

Yes! We absolutely love the grifgrips!!!

Awesome! I also live in florida, do a lot of trail riding and appreciate the tip!

Submitted by Jim Summers (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I wish there was a better way of cleaning the sensor body. It always has all this sticky black residue on it, and I'm afraid to wash it because water will get into the port and damage it. Suggestions?

Submitted by kimberly bumgarner (not verified) on

In reply to by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified)

thanks! helpful!

Submitted by Diane (not verified) on

In reply to by Jim Summers (not verified)

I use a small piece of plastic wrap (Saran Wrap or Glad cling wrap) around my transmitter before I connect it to the sensor. Then tape over the transmitter as normal. It works great and I haven't had any issues with it interfering with the sensor or the transmitter. No sticky residue on the transmitter!! I do clean it with an alcohol wipe as needed.

Submitted by Chris Erbacher (not verified) on

In reply to by Jim Summers (not verified)

I just normally use adhesive remover on mine works pretty well

Submitted by Jill (not verified) on

In reply to by Jim Summers (not verified)

I clean mine with alcohol swap; works well :)

Submitted by Saylor (not verified) on

In reply to by Jim Summers (not verified)

Insert the tab that came with it to protect it from getting wet then take a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and wash the outside with it, that’s what we do and it works great

Submitted by kimberly bumgarner (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

thank you - helpful!

Submitted by Kelly (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I am highly allergic to the tape that comes with the sensors the over tape it gives me blisters I started using the tegaderm latex free that covers the whole sensor is this ok I am soon getting the guardian 3 ?

Submitted by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified) on

In reply to by Kelly (not verified)

I'm sorry to hear this, Kelly. I've asked that someone from our 24 HelpLine give you a call to discuss the issues you're having.

Submitted by Jamie Schull (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Grifgrips are awesome! They work perfectly for my 13 year old son and we live in Mississippi with near 100% humidity. He has been type one for 11 years and I just found out about them a year ago wish I had known sooner! He had all kinds of problems with other adhesives causing welps and skin damage as well before I found the grifgrips, best ever hands down, so worth about $1.00 each for six days of wear!

Submitted by dawn (not verified) on

In reply to by Jamie Schull (not verified)

Which one do you use for your son Jamie? I'm looking to try a new tape brand and I'm having the allergic reactions described in the comments here as well. After 2 or 3 days I'm itching so bad I have to try to remove the tape and then carefully clean the area off. apply a new barrier wipe and retape.

Submitted by Jerimy C Moreau (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I have been using the Medtronic Oval tape since October of 2017 with no rash or itching after I have taped to my body. Now withing the last month (January of 2018) I have been getting a very itchy rash on my body but only where I place the oval trap (areas number 3 & 4 of the tape). The rash will leave red very small blisters (only where the tape was) and will last for over a week once the tape is removed on my body. Has something changed in the adhesive of the tape recently or any ideas of what may be happening. It is so itchy it is becoming very hard to keep the tape on my body for the full 7 days. Help!

Submitted by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified) on

In reply to by Jerimy C Moreau (not verified)

Jerimy, I'm so sorry to hear this. We haven't made any changes to the adhesive used in the overtape, and this is certainly a conversation to have with your healthcare team. In the meantime, our 24-Hour HelpLine may be able to offer some suggestions as well. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we please give them a call at 800.646.4633, option 1, at your convenience.

Submitted by Todd L Bolig (not verified) on

In reply to by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified)

I've been using the Medtronic Oval Tape since March 2017 without issues. The tape supplied with the Guardian Sensor 3 is creating extreme skin irritation, eg., rash and blistering. I agree with Jerimy above - something changed in the tape and I'd like to revert back to the Enlite Oval tape. There is a huge consensus on the web about the timing of this very issue which coincides with the introduction of the Guardian Sensor 3.


Submitted by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified) on

In reply to by Todd L Bolig (not verified)

Todd, I am very sorry to hear this. The Oval tape is the only tape available for use with the Guardian Sensor 3, but I encourage you to speak with your healthcare team to discuss your options.

Submitted by andrew d coleman (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I have had the same issue with extreme blistering caused by the oval tape. This is new within the last 3 months. I used the same setup for 6 months and never had a single issue . This came about quickly. My skin has hardened and turned rough like the surface of a red brick. Ouch!

Submitted by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified) on

In reply to by andrew d coleman (not verified)

I'm sorry to hear this, Andrew. I double checked with my team and there haven't made any changes to the materials in the Oval Tape. This is a good conversation to have with your healthcare team, but our 24-Hour HelpLine may have some suggestions for you. Please give them a call at your convenience at 800.646.4633, option 1.

Submitted by Eric (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I’m having similar issues since switching to the Guardian sensor — the tape leaves my skin red and mildly itchy, and it takes a long time to heal after the tape is removed (there are still signs of it two weeks later). I’m wondering whether applying IV Prep—only after the sensor is inserted—to the area to be taped would offer some protection.

Submitted by Karrie Hawbaker (not verified) on

In reply to by Eric (not verified)

I'm very sorry. This is a great question for your healthcare provider, Eric, but our community may have some ideas as well. Good luck to you!

The design of the Guardian tape is excessive. We wish that a simpler method was developed, using less taped surface area. A good example is the Dexcom transmitter. Hopefully, Medtronic will develop a fixation system for the Guardian that does not cover so much skin with adhesive.

Thanks for sharing your feedback, Steve. We've heard from both sides of our community on this issue. Those in favor of more tape and those who prefer to work with less. While there is currently no plan to change the Oval tape included with the Guardian Sensor 3 sensors, have you tried using one piece of tape instead of 2? Let us know at dhelp@medtronic.com and if you'd like to speak with someone about this, please include your phone number and we'll reach out.

Submitted by Lindsay Rittenhouse (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I am having a lot of trouble taping my sensor. I use the tape as instructed with a XXXX XXXX over the top of everything and im lucky if it lasts 3 days. I have oily skin and nothing I've tried works. when I used the XXXXXX I would wash the area with dish soap to remove oil the just used a XXXXXXXX and no other tape and that worked fine. I wonder if I should just disregard the Medtronic tape and just use the XXXXXXXX?

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

In reply to by Lindsay Rittenhouse (not verified)

Lindsay, while we stand behind our products, including our tapes, we understand that everyone's needs are different. I encourage you to check in with your healthcare team regarding what is best for you. If there is anything we can do to help, please give our technical support team a call at 800.646.4633, option 1.

How do I go about getting the Sensor? I have the 630G

We have a team of therapy specialists who'd be happy to talk through your options with you, Stanley. You can reach a teammate at 800.646.4633, option 3 or send your contact info to dhelp@medtronic.com and we'll reach out to you directly.

Submitted by Ed Herzberg (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

The insertion of your pump infusion set is a one step quite simple task. No extra/multiple parts to remove, only one piece of tape - not three , inspite of the fact that the infusion tubing often gets pulled when snagged.
However, installing a sensor and transmitter is a complex multi-step task. Have any of your sensor/transmitter people looked at how easy it is to insert your infusion set, or the XXXXXX sensor? They could learn something....

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

In reply to by Ed Herzberg (not verified)

We appreciate the feedback, Ed. Please know we consistently review products, as well as customer feedback in an effort to make our products as user-friendly as possible. I'll be sure to share your comments with our development team for review for future products and updates.

When I replace my sensor I have a lot of bleeding at the site which then makes the sensor not last. It tells me to replace it? What am i doing wrong? Where is the best places on your body to put the sensor? I Checked the manuals

Pat, this sounds like a good conversation with our 24-Hour Technical Support team. They can look into this with you and make the best recommendations. You can reach them at 800.646.4633, option 1.

Submitted by Mitzi (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Is taping the guardian sensor 3 optional? Is it waterproof on its own without tape?

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

In reply to by Mitzi (not verified)

Great question, Mitzi. As long as your transmitter and sensor are connected, your CGM is waterproof for up to 30 minutes, in up to 8 feet of water. The tape is not required to keep your device waterproof, but to ensure it stays connected to your body and in that respect is required. If you'd like to discuss this in more detail, please give our technical support team a call at 800.646.4633, option 1.

Submitted by Glenn (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I have had issues with my sensor and tape after three or four days. When in I do yard work, the tape seems to come off.

The sensor had been great for me, but I have had no answers as to how to keep it attached for seven days.

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

In reply to by Glenn (not verified)

Glenn, have you spoke to our 24-Hour Technical Support team? They may be able to provide additional tips and may be able to send you new tapes to try. If you're interested, please give our team a call at 800.646.4633 option #1.

We are looking for a tape to keep my granddaughters infusion set on while she swims, so far no luck, we used bandaid waterproof, also Nexcare tegaderm waterproof but it falls off within a minute. Does anyone have a suggestion that keeps it On while swimming?

Why can't the SENSOR use the SAME kind of TAPE as the PUMP Infusion Set????. The infusion set holds very very well, and does not leave the same sticky-black residue as the sensor's tape. Don't the two departments talk to each other.? EdH

Thanks for reaching out, Ed. I'll be happy to share this with our development team. In the meantime, if we can offer any tips or suggestions on taping techniques, please give our technical support team a call at 800.646.4633, option, 1.

Submitted by Marshall (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

I don't know if this will help, but I'll throw my experience in the ring. I've been using the pump for 30+ years, and the first 20 of those were with the bent needle infusion set, taped down with tegaderm. The tape would often peel up when I perspired a lot, and I
d end up having to change the needle. Since switching to the detachable infusion set that We now use with the 670G, the tiny round circle seems to stay put with almost zero lifting over 6 days. The sensor, on the other hand, has been problematic. I don't know if the extra weight and the chance of catching the transmitter on something causes a problem, but the tape seems to just let go completely when I sweat in summer heat. I recently tried using Benzoin Tincture, and it failed to keep the tape down. Then, Medtronic sent me a sample of Mastisol. I have used it a couple of times, and it seems to work quite well! The main down side is that it STINKS! I feel like I am walking in a cloud of medicinal stench for a whole day after I start a sensor. The tape doesn't fall off though!

Submitted by Audrey Jasey (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Ed Berg-
I wondered the same thing too!
I rarely i any issue with the infusion set tape. However, sensor tape last 2 days before it starts lifting, especially during the summer.

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