Wound Care with Topical Skin Adhesive
What is a topical skin adhesive?
A topical skin adhesive is a sterile, liquid skin glue that holds the edges of a wound together. The adhesive film usually stays in place for 5 to 10 days, then naturally falls off the skin. This type of adhesive cannot be used on all cuts. It is generally not used in areas with hair or in the mouth. It works best on small cuts such as paper cuts that are not deep, jagged, or bleeding and not under a lot of tension or pressure. (An example of a cut with tension would be a cut on a joint, such as a knuckle.)
How can I take care of the wound?
Check how the wound looks.
- Some swelling, redness, and pain is common with all wounds and normally will go away as the wound heals. If swelling, redness, or pain increase or if the wound feels warm to touch, call your healthcare provider.
- If the wound seems to be opening up or you notice any drainage, call your healthcare provider.
Do not put any medicine on the wound.
- Do not put liquid or any ointment medicine or any other product on the wound while the adhesive is in place. They may loosen the film before the wound is healed.
Keep the wound dry.
- Keep the wound dry for the first 4 hours after the skin adhesive is put on.
- After the first 4 hours, you may occasionally and briefly wet the wound in the shower or bath, or when washing hands. Gently pat the wound dry with a soft towel. If the adhesive is no longer sealing the wound, you can reapply.
- Do not soak or scrub the wound or let your child go swimming. Try to keep your child from doing any activities that will make him sweat a lot until the adhesive has naturally fallen off.
- If a bandage is on the wound, keep it dry. Put on a new bandage if the old one gets wet.
Protect the wound.
- If a bandage is on the wound, replace the bandage every day until the adhesive film has fallen off, unless your healthcare provider gives you different instructions about bandages.
- Protect the wound from repeat injury until the skin has had time to heal.
- Do not scratch, rub, or pick at the adhesive film. This may loosen the film before the wound is healed. Some young children may pick at the film. If needed, put a clean, dry bandage over the wound to keep your child from picking off the film.
- Do not place tape directly over the adhesive film because removing the tape may also remove the film.
- Protect the wound from prolonged exposure to sunlight or tanning lamps while the film is in place.
If you have any questions or concerns about this product, call your healthcare provider.
Written by Joan Bothner, MD, The Children's Hospital, Denver, CO.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2010-11-29
Last reviewed: 2010-11-29
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes
available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical
evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a health care professional.