Documentation of Skin-Related Issues Associated with Continuous Glucose Monitoring Use in the Scientific Literature

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2019 Oct;21(10):538-545. doi: 10.1089/dia.2019.0171. Epub 2019 Jul 25.


Background: The average wear time of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems steadily increased over the last years. Increased wear times are likely achieved by using adhesives with a longer adherence time, which may have a more pronounced effect on the skin than adhesives with shorter adherence time. Methods: In this project, a structured literature search was performed to assess how potential skin-related issues with CGM usage have been reported in scientific literature in the last 5 years. The literature search was performed with four search terms in the PubMed database. Results: In sum, 279 articles were analyzed. Skin-related issues were mentioned in 19.0% of articles (53 out of 279). With respect to articles mentioning skin-related issues, CGM performance or efficacy was the study's main topic of most of these studies, whereas the minority used CGM as "add-on" to assess other objectives. There was a varying degree in how detailed skin-related issues were described and no uniform structured documentation was given. While some articles only described findings, other articles already documented final diagnoses, such as contact dermatitis. Furthermore, inconsistent wordings for comparable issues were used. The most frequent issues were pain, itching, erythema, bleeding, bruising, and allergic reactions. Conclusion: To draw possible conclusions about the occurrence of skin-related issues during CGM use, more reports about skin-related issues in scientific literature are needed. A more detailed and uniformly structured documentation, possibly facilitated by a generally accepted guideline for structured descriptions, of skin-related issues could be helpful to enable clear differentiations between the described skin reactions.

Keywords: Adhesives; Allergic reaction; CGM; Contact dermatitis; Skin irritation; Skin reactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermatitis, Contact / etiology*
  • Glucose / analysis
  • Humans
  • Wearable Electronic Devices / adverse effects*


  • Glucose