10 Surprising Freestyle Libre Sensor Side Effects

10 Surprising Freestyle Libre Sensor Side Effects

Before measuring your sugar levels using gadgets like Libre Sensor, it is important to note their side effects. This article will highlight Libre Sensor’s side effects.

Diabetic patients must track their sugar levels. It is convenient if they do self-monitoring instead of regular visits to the doctor. Alternatively, they can try medications like Libre Sensor. If you are among them and opt for this direction, then you should be aware of Libre sensor side effects.

Patients recently diagnosed might find it cumbersome to monitor their glucose levels. Therefore, a convenient glucose monitoring system is necessary.

Like other traditional glucose monitoring systems, freestyle libre has shown effective performance. On the other hand, the experience is relatively painless and does not require finger pricking.

What is a freestyle libre sensor?

Freestyle Libre sensor is a glucose monitoring system implanted on the back of your upper arm and lasts up to 14 days.

Due to its properties, such as water resistance, the freestyle libre sensor cannot be destroyed even if one is involved in swimming, bathing, or exercising.;

The sensor measures your glucose level through a small filament inserted under the skin.

The sensor records glucose levels every 15 minutes and stores the information, which will later be retrieved when the patient visits a physician.

Though the sensor has been proven effective most of the time, it has several side effects that cannot be ignored.

This article explains more, so let’s dive in,

Who should not use the sensor?

According to a study in PubMed, Freestyle libre is not recommended for patients below the age of 18 years, as this may give inaccurate readings.

Studies have also shown that continuous monitoring of glucose levels is more likely to be inaccurate in children than in adults. This probably contributed to the active state of an average child.

Freestyle libre sensor is also not recommended for patients with dialysis and those dehydrated. This is due to the inaccuracy of the results obtained from such patients.

Its performance is also greatly affected by ascorbic acid and salicylic acid. Therefore, consult your physician if you have high levels of vitamin C or other multivitamins.

On the other hand, the system is ineffective for critically ill patients s, as much research has been done on it.

There has also not been a consensus on whether it should be done or not .it has not been determined how a particular illness is likely to affect the performance of this device.

Finally, if yuh have other devices, such as pacemakers implanted in your body, consult your doctor as this may affect the accuracy of the freestyle libre sensor.

Can you put a freestyle Libre sensor anywhere on your body?

The freestyle libre sensor is only meant for placement under ton the back of the arm for effective performance. Avoid areas with lumps, scars, or stretch marks.

Freestyle Libre Sensor Side Effects

A patient might experience some adverse side effects, mainly related to wearing the adhesive patch.

They include,

1.      Local erythema

Erythema is an abnormal redness of the skin or mucous membranes. Capillary congestion causes the condition, and red splotches on the hands or feet are classic examples.

You may notice it in the area around the sensor. Note that erythema is slightly different from normal inflammation, though the characteristics might be similar.

In most cases, it is characterized by swelling, rashes, and redness

2.      Local infection

According to a research study by science direct, diabetic patients using freestyle libre sensors have been found to have minor skin infections.

This type of infection is caused by an organism known as streptococcus pyogenes.

3.      Inflammation

Inflammation is part of the body’s defense mechanism against foreign organisms as well as material on the body.

Nevertheless, some patients are likely to experience acute inflammation around the insertion site of the device, as stated by a study in PubMed.

4.      Discomfort

It is normal to feel discomfort when anything sharp penetrates the skin, especially for the first time. And for that reason, it is also normal to feel a session for the first sensor application.

However, the discomfort may last a more extended period than expected. And if this occurs, it is recommended to remove the sensor.

In addition, you can avoid discomfort by applying the sensor on the fatty part of the back of your arm and not directly on the muscle. This is because discomfort is associated chiefly with muscle straining.

5.      Bleeding at the glucose insertion site

Occasionally, patients using freestyle libre sensors will experience a small amount of blood at the application area. This might be uncomfortable for some users.

If this does not hurt – and it doesn’t happen in most cases- it is okay not to give it much concern. Instead, apply light pressure on the sensor, and the bleeding will stop after some time.

6.      Bruising

Bruising has also been noticed by some of the patients though at the first stages of using the device. The bruises are, however, not significantly painful and hence would not require immediate attention.

7.      Itching

Due to different skin types, some patients are likely to be sensitive to the device, thus causing itching. In fact, some patients have complained of itchiness around the area.

Even so, it does not last for the whole [period of application, i.e., 14 days. A patient on a daily diabetes forum commented that they experienced itchiness during the first two days of application.

8.      Adhesive irritation

Freestyle libre sensor has an allergen in its adhesive known as isobornyl acrylate, which has been confirmed to irritate the skin.

9.      Skin discoloration

Freestyle libre sensors may cause redness in the contact area, especially for sensitive skin patients. Hence it is vital to talk to a professional doctor before treating the affected areas.

10.  Hematoma

Hematoma describes blood collection around blood vessels. It is characterized by skin discoloration and mostly appears as a bad bruise.


In conclusion, these side effects are based on the skin’s sensitivity. Therefore, it is advisable to know what works for you before using the device.

Some of the recommendations to patients experiencing the above side effects include proper hygiene, and that is by cleaning your underarm correctly before applying the sensor.

If you have hairy skin, shaving is also good before mounting the sensor. According to  Medscape, You could also alternate around the two arms to give room for healing each of the arms at a time.

In addition, be gentle when removing the sensor; you could apply safe jelly such as baby oil and let it rest for a while to make it much easier to pluck the device.

Lastly, to treat skin infections, consult a professional before purchasing medication. Furthermore, if the side effects are much more severe, seek help.

Your doctor may have alternative products that work for you.


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