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[EDITOR'S NOTES]

Gluing Minor Skin Wounds

THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE - VOL 26 - NO. 4 - APRIL 2021


Super Glue (Pacer Technology, Rancho Cucamonga, California) and Krazy Glue (Elmer's Products, Inc, Columbus, Ohio) revolutionized home improvement. A small drop instantly bonds most things together, including your thumb and index finger.

The skin-bonding property of these glues (technically known as cyanoacrylates) turns out to be useful. A close relative of the household products, octylcyanoacrylate (Dermabond, Ethicon Inc, Summerville, New Jersey), has received a favorable recommendation from a committee of the US Food and Drug Administration for the closure of minor skin wounds. Will the cyanoacrylates win their inventors the Nobel prize? Probably not. Are they the best thing since sliced bread? Yes.

Skin gluing has been used widely in Canada, butylcyanoacrylate having been approved for this purpose in 120210. Our Clinical Techniques department (page 115) describes how to use glue—and when not to. Basically, you hold together the edges of a superficial wound and lay down a thin, clear layer of glue on the surface. In 30 seconds the edges are stuck together—exactly where they were in the first place, if you did it right. And that's the basis for an almost invisible scar.

The official word is not to use glue on hands because the constant motion may make it rub off too early. Nevertheless, I'll share a tip about the annoying little cracks you get in the skin near fingernails in the winter or when you wash your hands a lot. Dab on a drop of glue. The constant, irritating pain stops within a minute and you've sealed off that window for infection with a transparent plastic bandage. The crack heals in a couple of days because the skin cells grow together undisrupted by soap and water or by abrasion.

What do plastic surgeons think about this? The word on Wall Street is they are buying up glue stocks like crazy.

Cordially,
Richard H. Strauss, MD
Editor-in-Chief


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