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Skin Care and Diseases

Use of super glue on skin cuts

02/27/2002

Question:

Can I use normal super glue on skin cuts

Answer:

Super glue will of course close a cut. You must be careful not to allow the glue to touch another part of your skin since adherence would be rapid.

Super glue has a very poor tensile strength and so is easily fractured and broken. For that reason it does not work well in closing skin lesions. It may also induce allergic contact dermatitis when used frequently. It has its distinct limitations.

There are some new surgical adhesives that are based on acrylic technology that do have flexibility and are more appropriate. Your physician might make those available to you. Certainly super glue could be used in an emergency. It is frequently used on spontaneous fissures on the hands and feet as temporary support.

It should be remembered that super glue is not antibacterial. It binds bacteria but is not truly an antibacterial agent. I would suggest that you not use this as a substitute for usual first aid care and use it only as a last resort. If you have deep cuts, please see your family physician.

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati