How do I get my CGM sensor patch to stay on?

Download these instructions as a PDF

Everyone’s skin is different. Extra care may help you keep your sensor on for the entire sensor session. Here are tips some Dexcom customers have used successfully. These tips might be helpful for some people, but are not required. Use these with your product instructions.

Before inserting the sensor


Skin types vary, and for some people, it may take awhile – overnight, for example – for the patch to fully dry and stick. During that time, keep your skin dry and avoid doing things that would make you sweat. If inserting a new sensor before bed, make sure you’re through the warmup before you go to sleep.


The patch stays on best when it isn’t where your skin folds when you bend or near waistbands. Change sites with every sensor session.

  • Sensor site should be flat, clean, and completely dry before you insert the sensor.
  • Extra adhesive (such as Mastisol or SkinTac) tip: Put on additional adhesive under the patch, avoiding the spot where needle inserts. Let dry.

Site tips:

Apply the patch to areas without much hair.

  • Remove any adhesive residue from previous sensors. Consider using an oil or adhesive remover (such as Uni-solve, Detachol, or Tac Away).
  • Clean and dry the site twice:
    1. First, wash with soap and water. Dry.
    2. Then, scrub site thoroughly with an alcohol wipe.
    3. Let dry completely.

Sensor tips:

  • Store your sensors in a dry place between 36° and 86° F.

During sensor insertion process

  • Press and hold

Immediately after inserting, smooth out any wrinkles in the patch. Then rub entire patch 3 times. For extra pressure, consider using the back of your fingernail.

After inserting the sensor

  • Rub patch

Immediately after inserting, smooth out any wrinkles in the patch. Then rub entire patch 3 times. For extra pressure, consider using the back of your fingernail.

  • Allow drying time

Different skin types may affect how long the patch takes to fully dry and stick. Consider keeping the site dry for a while—overnight for example.

Use an overpatch or medical tape to help keep the patch on your skin.

  • If your skin has higher oil/moisture content, consider putting on the overpatch or medical tape immediately after inserting the sensor.
  • If your skin is drier or less elastic, consider waiting to see if the patch edges peel off your skin before you put the overpatch or medical tape on over the adhesive.

Click here for instructions on how to order free overpatches from Dexcom.


Important note about Dexcom support:

Dexcom and Tandem have agreed which system issues are best handled by each company, including which company is responsible for reporting those events to the appropriate regulatory authority. To help ensure that the required reporting takes place in a timely fashion, customers may need to contact Dexcom for some issues and Tandem for others.

Tandem handles issues such as loss of connection (on pump only) and the invalid transmitter (Alert 29) on pump only.

For all other CGM issues, including would not accept calibration, the sensor failure during the 2-hour warmup, “no restarts” alert or physical problems with your sensor or transmitter, such as bleeding, bruising, skin reaction, adhesive issues, applicator issues, or broken wires, you should contact Dexcom using one of the options at

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