Where should you insert & attach the Dexcom G6 CGM Sensor on your body?

Dexcom G6 diabetes sensor system

The Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System offers ways for users always to know their glucose numbers and if those numbers are trending higher or lower. And the best benefit? No fingersticks!

But some folks have trouble finding just the right place to insert the sensor on their bodies. If you’re having problems finding a good location for your Dexcom G6 sensor, read on!

Related reading

What is the Dexcom G6 Sensor?

The central idea around the Dexcom G6 sensor is fulfilling the promise of ‘Zero Fingersticks.’ Most Diabetes patients can testify about the discomfort around continuously pricking their fingertips to measure the relevant diabetes readings accurately.

The Dexcom G6 sensor is FDA approved and a game-changer, particularly for diabetes patients who need to monitor their glucose levels continuously.

As opposed to regular Blood glucose monitoring, CGM, or continuous glucose monitoring, regularly monitors your glucose number throughout the day with the help of the sensor.

The Dexcom G6 Sensor package includes a simple auto-applicator that inserts a tiny sensor right beneath the skin.

The G6 sensor and the transmitter continuously monitor your blood glucose levels and wirelessly transmit the information to a display device such as your phone or smartwatch.

Folks with an Apple Watch can also view their Dexcom app number and trending indication arrow as complications on the watch face.

apple watch app for deacon

Are the Dexcom sensors waterproof?

The G5/G6 Sensor Pod is water-resistant when the transmitter is installed correctly. The receiver is not water-resistant or waterproof and can be damaged if moisture gets inside. Water can also severely limit communication range with the G5 and G6, so you never want to prevent communication between the transmitter and display devices. 

You must also keep in mind that some skincare products, such as sunscreens and insect repellents, can make the plastic used in your G6 crack. So, it’s good to avoid using skin care products around the area.

You can wear the sensor continuously for ten days, and it is water-resistant.

Apart from the sensor placement, the Dexcom app is another thing you will need to get familiar with. Some users experience little annoyances in setting up their Dexcomm and monitoring their progress.

We have identified the most common Dexcom-related users and provided some tips on how you can overcome these problems. Please check out the article below.

Where should you put the G6 sensor?

As per guidance from Dexcom, for children.

“Just like G5 Mobile, sensor insertion sites are on the belly (age two years and older) or the upper buttocks (ages 2-17 years). ”

For adults, look for a place on your belly or upper buttocks where you have some padding. (Body fat).

Avoid areas that have scarring, tattoos, bones, or irritation. It is also important to ensure that the area where you attach the G6 sensor does not get pushed, bumped, or add discomfort when sleeping.

Do not place the patch where skin folds when bending or near the waistband area.

Make sure you change the location where you insert the sensor each time!

It’s okay to try other places on the body!

Many Dexcom users have found success in trying other body areas for the insertion of the sensor.

Some users who don’t have adequate abdomen fat tried attaching the G6 sensor to the backside of the arm. 

“We put our sons in the back of his arm. Not easy for him to mess around with, and it’s out of the way for the most part.”

Placing it at the back of the arm allows you to switch the placement to the other arm when you replace the sensor after ten days. This is especially good for pediatric patients who will not get their hands on the sensor and try to peel it off or tamper with the adhesive.

This week DEXCOM was finally able to receive the CE Marking in Europe for allowing users to wear it on the back of the upper arm.

Dexcom CE marking for back of the arm

If you can’t find a good place for the sensor, ask your doctor 

As with other medical applications, you must check with your doctor or endocrinologist before establishing the best spot for the Dexcom G6 sensor.

Clean and dry skin is essential before you insert the sensor

  • Clean and dry your hands and your insertion site before inserting your sensor.
  • Please wash your hands with soap and water, not gel cleaners, and then dry them before opening the sensor package. (If your hands are dirty when you insert the sensor, you may get germs on the insertion site and infection.)
  • Clean your insertion site with alcohol wipes to prevent infections.
  • Don’t insert the sensor until your skin is completely dry. (If your insertion site is not clean and completely dry, you run the risk of infection or the transmitter holder not sticking well.)
  • Avoid any activities that cause profuse sweating until the patch is fully attached to your skin.

If using an extra adhesive like Mastisol or SkinTac, place that additional adhesive under the patch. And take care to avoid the spot where the needle inserts. Let this other adhesive thoroughly dry before inserting the needle.

Depending on weather and other factors, it may take 12 hours for the patch to fully dry and stick to the skin.

Is the sensor patch peeling off too early before the entire ten days?

First, make sure you follow all the instructions to clean and dry the skin.

Although the adhesive quality starts to give away around ten days, Dexcom has some good directions that will help you keep the unit on for the entire ten days.

Skin Grip Adhesive Patches for Dexcom G6 CGM (20-Pack), Waterproof & Sweatproof for 10-14 Days, Pre-Cut Adhesive Tape, Continuous Glucose Monitor Protection (Tan)
  • 💪 LASTS 10-14 DAYS: Our glucose monitor CGM adhesive patch holds your device firmly to your skin...
  • 💧 WATERPROOF & SWEATPROOF: Our premium Dexcom G6 adhesive patches are made from 100%...

You may also want to explore a popular third-party adhesive support called ‘SKIN GRIP’ available from Amazon.

Dexcom Sensor and Verily

Advancements in Diabetes sensors coming in 2020/ 2021

Dexcom and Verily (Google’s life sciences division)  are launching the G7, a much thinner, less expensive, fully disposable continuous glucose monitor, in the US in about two years – late 2020 is the current estimate for the launch, followed by broader availability in 2021.

The new G7 sensor units are expected to be significantly lower cost, fully disposable, and, most importantly, extend the wear time from the current ten days to a 14 – 15-day timeframe.

We sometimes use affiliate links in our content from Amazon and others. It doesn’t cost you anything but helps us pay our expenses. Thank you for the support! Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products and have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. In my day job, I advise fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health&fitness-tech evolution and keep a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch or Fossil Gen 5 LTE and keep a close eye on my HRV and other recovery metrics.

9 COMMENTS

  1. My mom was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and she doesn’t know what to expect and wants to be more prepared for what changes she needs to make.

    Getting the right supplies from a professional like adhesive tape could be really useful and keep her senor attached.

    I’ll be sure to tell her about how it can show up on her Apple watch and make sure that the skin is dry before applying it.

  2. The receivers are a redundant nuisance especially for men who have limited pocket space. Why get it when you can receive the signal on your phone or watch

    And either the pump or the receiver gets the signal but not both. And you can’t switch back and forth between the two or it will shut down. And you’ll have to use another sensor.

    Other than that it’s handy to have because you can monitor you glucose easily without having to carry a supply of finger stickers and a separate glucose monitor.

  3. Can’t wait to see what the G7 is like.

    I like the G6 just fine, but trying to find out if placing it on the arm in the US is a yes or no is hard.

    I see it’s a yes for Canada but I’m still not clear of the usage on the arm in the US.

    Also, as someone pointed out, it does go offline often, the signal drops quite a bit, but I’m managing it.

    I just go old-fashioned and prick my finger.

  4. In the last three months have experienced constant errors when changing my sensor.

    When changing the sensor, it most times has failed and must use 3 or 4 until one succeeds.

    Just recently I was sent 5 or 6 expired sensors.

    Also awakened in the am coughing and hearing gurgling noises from my chest, called an ambulance. when onboard and taking vitals I told them I am a type 1 and showed my Dexcom which read 127.

    On arrival to ER, sugar was 465 was experiencing DKA. I was sent to ICU for 2 days.

    The last night Dexcom kept signaling 40 when finger stick was 89.

    What is wrong with this product now is constantly lost signals constant calibrating and constant errors when changing sensors.

    When I first started Dexcom it was great now I am afraid of my survival with its product.

    Had a customer support person from Dexcom called, asking about the incident with DKA she told me to look for a different product.

    I cannot be the only person using Dexcom and experiencing all these LIFE-THREATENING INCIDENTS.

    • Hi Nancy,

      Oh, that sounds like an awful experience. We’re sorry to hear that the Dexcom isn’t working for you.

      Moving forward, it’s important to speak with your doctor and let them know the problems you’ve had with Dexcom. They will likely have recommendations for other products for you to help manage your type 1 diabetes.

  5. My last 90 day supply I had 2 sensors that failed within the first 5 days,also my current 90 days supply from Byram labs was not sent even though I have approval from my insurance company until the end of this year. I have been without dexcom supplies for at least 2 weeks I just received email they have been shipped.

  6. I am having the same issue. Last 2 sensors have failed. Spoke to customer service tech support and sending another sensor. Getting crazy readings from sensor. As much as 70 difference.
    Rather scary to depend on it.

  7. My 6-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 on 9/11/2018.

    We were approved for the tandem pump and sensor around age 3. The first year was great it offered a simplistic life and gave accurate readings.

    The past year off and on; more specifically, the last 3 months, have been hell.

    My son’s tandem pump with a G6 sensor reads LOW, but the finger poke reads 256mgdl. I calibrate continuously and still inaccurate readings.

    My son’s school has called me several times throughout the day wanting to know what’s wrong with the pump; why it is not working properly.

    I never have an answer for them. except that it fails and is faulty sometimes.

    My son’s tandem pump has malfunctioned 3 times within the last month; in the middle of the night alerts and beeps sound and keep me woke every 30 mins.

    I send the pump data to our Endocrinologist, and they blame me for the lows during the night.

    It’s just a faulty product. It works when it works and when it doesn’t, it drives me absolutely insane.

    All I want to do is keep my son healthy and strong. Tandem refers me to call Dexcom and all Dexcom does is send out a replacement. and the cycle repeats itself.

    My son went into DKA and was rushed to the hospital ER for observation.

    One time his meter said LOW, beeping like crazy. I tested with Onetouch, and his BG was 477mgdl.

    Thank God I have the reliable One Touch otherwise, I could have given my son more simple carbs to bring up an incorrect BG reading.

    This is really dangerous, and it really sucks that the Medicine and Pharmacy industry can get away with pretty much killing our T1D warriors.

    As I said, when it works it works. but when it doesn’t work, my blood boils. UGGGGGHHHHH, I’m so frustrated.

    Then I have to wait on hold for almost two hours just to troubleshoot, only to have a new sensor sent out. Isn’t it possible that the pump can malfunction; it is not meant to last forever.

    This is my son’s life we’re talking about, and I am so so so incredibly disappointed with Dexcom and Tandem.

    • I a so sorry to hear that your young son has to go through such an ordeal with his blood glucose monitoring. That is very scary.

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