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May 17, 2017

Insulin Pumps, Other

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Question from Park Ridge, New Jersey, USA:

My daughter has developed hives at some of her pump sites. I am at a loss on where to go to pursue this. The allergist couldn’t help; the endocrinologist is unsure. I don’t want to sit on it and watch her have to change pump sites every day and deal with multiple injections for corrections for the failed pump sites. I am looking for a recommendation for a knowledgeable place to turn. Do you recommend a dermatologist or another endocrinologist with this type of allergy experience?

Answer:

If it is at the site of the sensors or the catheters themselves, then it is likely an allergy to something in the plastic. You can try pretreatment with a very small amount of cortisone cream or with a spray like Nasalcort or Flonase to the area. Most of the time it is an allergy to the adhesives in the tapes. Then, the same sprays also work well just in advance of placing the sensor or catheter. You can also place a hypoallergenic tape like Tegaderm. Other brands are Nexcare, Tenderfix, Medipore, Mefix, Leukoflex and grifgrips. On-line purchase is usually easiest. You use the hypoallergenic tapes on the skin and then place the sensor or catheters through the tapes. Sometimes you have to punch a small hole in the tapes ahead of time so there is no occlusion and then a bit more work to position the sensor or catheters directly through that hole but this protects the skin since the adhesion is to the tape and not directly on top of the skin itself.

SB