What is a diabetes patch?

A diabetes patch is used to deliver and administer insulin through the skin. It is a part of diabetes management to ensure your blood sugar levels are in a normal range. This form of insulin treatment negates the need for daily insulin shots using injections.

What are the different types of diabetes patches? Consider the following:

Insulin patch pump

Pumps are regularly used to supply the body with insulin. However, insulin patch pumps are placed directly on the body, specifically on the abdomen. No tubing is required, unlike what you see in traditional insulin pumps.

An insulin pump is entirely wireless. It has a pumping mechanism and a small cartridge that you should fill with fast-acting insulin. A separate device controls this pump’s programming and delivers insulin after meals. The insulin enters the bloodstream through a small needle where the patch pump is attached in place.

CGMs (continuous glucose monitoring systems)

If you are tired of pricking your finger daily just to determine your blood sugar levels, CGMs or continuous glucose monitoring systems are here to save the day. CGMs are diabetes monitoring patches that you only need to stick on your arm and scan for daily blood sugar monitoring. But how does the diabetes arm patch work?

After sticking CGMs on your arm, you will need a smartphone to scan them. A sensor will identify the device and show information about your blood glucose. It does not involve pricking the fingers like most other blood glucose monitoring devices.  It is usually placed on the upper arm, making it usable and a comfortable choice for everyone.

Note: Insulin patch pumps and CGMs are FDA-approved. There are other forms of diabetes patches, but unfortunately, they are not yet approved for usage. These are as follows:

Experimental Insulin Patches

Research is still going on for more effective ways to administer insulin through a patch without the use of other devices. Promising results are recorded in animals; however, more research and study are necessary to ensure their effectiveness and safety in humans.

Herbal, OTC patches

You may have come across herbal and OTC patches at the pharmacy. However, herbal and other OTC  patches are neither FDA-approved nor test-supported. Hence, these are unreliable in treating diabetes.


Studies and research are still ongoing to find efficient ways to fight diabetes. No standalone skin patches can make their way in treating the condition, but CGMs are available to sensor and determine your daily blood sugar levels. Furthermore, insulin patch pumps and injections are commonly used to manage and control diabetes.