I have had a few questions from readers on tips to keep their Abbott FreeStyle Libre from falling or being knocked off before the 14 day expiry. Here are a few tips I have been using to help keep my Libre Sensor from falling or being knocked off of the back of your arm.
Have I been successful with these tips? I will let you decided, however, I have been using Freestyle Libre for almost a year and have only had an issue with one sensor that accidentally got caught in my shirt as I was taking it off.
DISCLAIMER: These tips may not work with everyone, as we all have different skin types. However, they have worked well for me. Further, these tips do not replace the official instructions provided by Abbott and may not work for everyone. I can not be held responsible for for any sensor coming off early or being damaged. Note: For convenience I have included links to my Amazon Store where you can purchase many of the items suggested. Looking for accessories for your FreeStyle Libre – look here.
4 Steps to help keep your FreeStyle Libre Attached for 14 days
Step 1: Hair is our enemy, start with a blank slate
As men, we can be hairy beasts. This is where your wives or girlfriends can get a bit of pleasure and help remove the hair from a small area to ensure the Libre Sensor has skin to skin contact. Good clean, dry, skin to skin contact is critical.
Step 2: Ensure the Libre sensor area is clean and dry
The FreeStyle Libre works best when the skin is clean, dry and oil and sweat free by using the supplied alcohol wipes. This includes removing any residue left over from your last Libre Sensor. If you use Skin-Tac or similar products, you can also try Skin Tac Adhesive Remover Wipes – this unique formula effectively removes even the most stubborn adhesive residue leaving the skin clean, dry, and without a greasy film.
Step 3: Pre-Treat the Libre Sensor area with Skin Tac
If you are finding that your Libre Sensor is not sticking well, or causing some skin irritation pre-treat the skin with Skin-Tac adhesive barrier prep wipes to improve the adhesion of the Libre sensor to your arm. Skin Tac Adhesive Barrier Prep Wipes have two main uses: They provide a tacky surface for you to easily fix any dressings or tapes to (or our Libre), and they provide an effective barrier between your skin and those dressings.
Step 4: Pay Attention to Lifting Edges
It is critical that you pay attention to lifting edges of your FreeStyle Libre over the entire 14 day period.
You may notice that although your Libre is securely attached, there may be some minor lifting around the edges of you Libre Sensor. These little edge lifts are usually the culprit of people ”loosing” a sensor early as it is much easier for a shirt sleeve or oddly positioned door frame to get under that loose edge and OUCH – you pop it off.
At this point (usually around day ten), I add a protective barrier over-top of my Libre sensor.
I typically go the simple approach and use place a piece of Kinesiology (i.e. KT Tape) over my sensor. However, there are other products available such as Patchabetes, RockDex, or Simpatch which are designed to cover the Libre with a protective bandage. I have also heard other FreeStyle Libre users have had great success with Tegaderm which is a transparent waterproof adhesive wound Dressing; similar to what you would have over-top of an IV.
For those that choose the kinesiology tape — I recommend rounding off the edges. This will significantly increase the lengthy of time it sticks. Secondly, trim off any loose edges as they start to come loose.
Caution: My biggest concern with any of these products is that they adhere to both your arm and the sensor. Fortunately I rarely nees to remove the bandage from the sensor as they have lasted the remainder of my 14 day sensor lifespan. For that reason alone I would never put a patch on day one. I find my Libres stick well for the first 7-10 days before the edges start to lift up. I then throw a patch or tape over-top for the last few days to more protect that one little cover where we undoubtedly will get a shirt sleeve or door frame caught underneath.
If you do need to remove the patch or tape before you sensor has expired – I have found that slow and steady wins the race. Be sure not to tug or pull on the sensor.
Hint: Try placing a small piece of gauze between the patch and the Libre. This should help with reducing the amount of of stick to the Libre and assist when changing the patch before your sensor is due to be replaced.
No matter what you choose, the key is to help keep the edges of the Libre sensor secure and protected.
As I opened – using these four tricks, I have never lost a sensor. The one and only sensore I did loose was human error as I skipped step 4. LOL. I would love to hear any other hits or tricks from people. If you are a marketer, please do not provide comments, however, feel free to drop me a message on our contact page.
For convenience, I have a these items and a few other options listed on our Amazon Store and our accessories for the freestyle Libre page.