Can You Wear the Dexcom G6 in the Shower or Hot Tub? a Guide

Posted August 12, 2020 by Michael Chamberlain - See Editorial Guidelines
Can You Wear the Dexcom G6 in the Shower or Hot Tub? a Guide

CGM’s, like the Dexcom G6, have helped diabetes patients with a much easier diabetes management routine. However, like many CGM’s, one common question many have is, can you wear the Dexcom G6 in the shower or hot tub?

And if you do, will it affect the readings or accuracy of the device? Or how long can they stay in the water? This article will give a clear background on whether or not you can wear the Dexcom G6 in the shower and hot tub.

But first, here’s the quick answer, then we’ll get into some of the reasons why and some helpful advice.

Can you wear Dexcom G6 in the shower or hot tub? You can wear the Dexcom G6 in showers or hot tubs for short periods. The Dexcom G6’s transmitters and sensors are waterproof and resistant, but not the receiver. It’s advisable not to let the device soak for too long in showers or have hot tub sessions with a temperature above 107.6 deg F.

So, that’s the quick response. Now let’s get into more details about wearing the Dexcom G6 in the shower or hot tub.

Dexcom G6 in the Shower

The Dexcom G6 can be worn in the shower. Especially showers that last for less than an hour, as these won’t cause any harm to the device.

Can You Wear the Dexcom G6 in the Shower or Hot Tub

This is because the Dexcom G6 is explicitly designed to act as a seamless part of a person’s lifestyle.

This means it’s designed to be applied to the body as you continue to go about your daily life without limitations. Therefore, getting wet in the rain, taking showers, or swimming in the ocean will not cause any harm to the Dexcom G6 unless it’s soaked in water for long periods.

You should make sure that you pat the sensor and transmitter dry after getting it wet.

If the transmitter is installed properly, the Dexcom sensor pod is also water-resistant and waterproof. However, the receiver of the Dexcom G6 is not water-resistant or waterproof.

If the sensor is submerged, such as when you are taking a bath or swimming, there is a chance that readings may not be sent to the receiver. This is because the water may disrupt the signal between the transmitter and receiver. If glucose readings are not being received correctly, then patients may suffer from high or low blood sugar without knowing it.

Dexcom G6 in Hot Tubs

The official advice would be to avoid the use of hot tubs where possible. The main reason for this comes from temperature sensitivities that can affect the device.

Although the Dexcom G6 is designed to protect the device from possible water damage, there’s no clear evidence of how it works with extreme water temperatures.

Unfortunately, the Dexcom G6 manual doesn’t mention any clear operating temperature ranges either. 

So, when getting into a hot tub, many recommend not wearing a Dexcom G6. In cases where you want to enjoy a hot tub session, it’s better to schedule them when you’re due to change the sensor anyway. This will prevent wasting the device and saving on needle pricks.

Despite this, many Dexcom G6 users have experienced no trouble at all in wearing a Dexcom G6 in hot tubs. Some also believe that Dexcom G6 should work fine below the temperature of 107.6 deg F. And since hot tubs don’t usually go above this temperature range, some users have no trouble wearing Dexcom G6 in hot tubs.

If you choose to go into a hot tub with the Dexcom G6, then it is recommended that you avoid having the device submerged for more than 15 minutes. Submerging the sensor too long increases the chances of possible damage being done to the sensor or transmitter.

For this reason, you may want to consider wearing the Dexcom G6 on your arm.

Can You Wear the Dexcom G6 in the Shower or Hot Tub? a Guide

Accuracy of Dexcom G6 When Wearing it in Showers or Hot Tubs

Can You Wear the Dexcom G6 in the Shower or Hot Tub

Firstly, be it showers or hot tubs, water can strictly limit the communication range in Dexcom G6 and, in general, any CGM’s.

When communication between the transmitter and the display device is blocked, this would then cause idleness in the receiver or even damage them (if prolonged).

The chance of this happening is more so in deep water. This would result in the receiver, not alarming patients of severe high or low blood sugar levels. Therefore, the patient cannot make a treatment decision, which can be risky, especially when alone in the shower or hot tub.

So, to avoid this, it’s always recommended that you take short breaks periodically to receive updated blood sugar readings.

In terms of some user experiences, one user reported wearing the Dexcom G6 in a hot tub around three times a week for about 15 minutes, at a temperature of around 102 degrees. They found the readings were higher than what the blood glucose meter says for about half an hour afterward before settling back to normal readings.

The high readings following the hot temperature are believed to be due to transmitter temperature related issues. After about a half-hour, the readings tend to come back to accurate figures.

You should also be aware that hot baths, hot tubs, or showers can cause fluctuations in blood sugar.

If the sensor readings do not match the finger prick tests, then it could be that the transmitter has been affected by the temperature.

Some users who wear the Dexcom G6 in hot tubs also experience some dropouts in readings, which is believed to come from the water blocking the signal.

Ways to Wear Dexcom G6 in Showers and Hot Tubs

If you want to wear your Dexcom G6 in the shower or hot tub, then you may find it beneficial to wear a waterproof patch over the sensor.

The waterproof patch is self-adhesive and will create a stronger waterproof barrier between the water and the skin (which also means the Dexcom G6 attached to the skin). The seal this patch offers will prevent the water from reaching the Dexcom G6 sensor and transmitter.

Once getting out of a shower or hot tub, try to dry off the adhesive patch by pressing a dry cloth or tissue on to the area. This will absorb all the water and prevent the water from affecting the device and adhesive.

If you wanted to be extra careful, you could even blow-dry the adhesive patch the prevent the risk of water damage farther.

Give the device some time to re-adjust once out of the shower or hot tub, as readings may be slightly inaccurate initially.

Use the above methods to help prevent the water from getting into the device. If you still experience inaccurate readings after several hours beyond your shower or hot tub session, it may be because the device got too wet or too warm and may have been damaged.

If this occurs, then it is recommended that you call Dexcom’s customer service number to discuss the potential need for a replacement sensor.

Conclusion

We hope this has been useful in whether or not you can wear the Dexcom G6 in the shower or hot tub. As always, this article is not intended to be complete medical guidance. We would, of course, always recommend consulting your doctor before taking any drugs or activities you feel may not be suitable or effective.

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