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Can you close a wound with super glue?

8 Answers
Are wounds treated with super glue?
S

I've heard of people, primarily survivalists, using Superglue (ethyl-cyanoacrylate) to close superficial wounds. I've also heard hospitals and clinics in some third world/developing countries use it and even the United States employed Superglue in field surgery during the Vietnam War.

Although I might try Superglue in an emergency, I wouldn't recommend it for routine use. I certainly wouldn't use it on deep wounds under any circumstances. While it might effectively seal the wounds, it would also seal in bacteria. The risk of infection would be remarkably high. There are also questions regarding Superglue toxicity and, although it might seem insignificant, Superglue releases an exothermic, or heat, reaction during curing which could further damage already injured tissue.

There are sterile tissue adhesives (N-butyl-cyanoacrylate, 2-octyl cyanoacrylate) similar to Superglue used for medical applications, in fact, cyanoacrylate polymers have been used for over 40 years as a corneal adhesive. Medical grade 'Superglues' actually have a number of advantages over sutures. They are bacteriostatic, biodegradable, easily manipulated and controlled, provide a hemostatic effect, reduce surgical time plus can readily be used on mucous membranes. Medical grade adhesives are not available to the general public, though. They are available to medical professionals only.

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T

Although many people have resorted to closing wounds with Super Glue, it certainly is not a recommended method of wound closure. One of the most popular products for wound closure is DERMABOND, which is used on patients after undergoing a surgical procedure as well as closing minor wounds that would otherwise require stitches. DERMABOND's main purpose is to close wounds, but is much safer to use than Super Glue. Once the edges of a wound are approximated (brought together), the DERMABOND is then applied. The product dries very quickly, inhibits the growth of bacteria, and negates the use of traditional stitches, which often times must be removed.

Super Glue, when applied to open skin, can cause infection as well as necrosis, which is death to the tissue. Therefore, again, I would not advise you apply Super Glue to close any type of wound. If you have a wound which you believe requires stitches, please visit your doctor, urgent care, or emergency room and have the wound assessed and treated by a licensed medical professional.

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N

I would say not, because if you were holding skin together with it, then when it comes time to remove the glue, I wouldn't be surprised if it opened the wound up again.

I have bought a medicated type of spray on glue made for wounds (little ones), and that is brilliant, to use instead of plasters, but it is easily removed.

I suppose if you were bleeding to death, and this was the only substance you had, then I suppose it would be an option, but apart from getting stuck to everything and risking some kind of infection or poisoning, I really wouldn't think of using it and would definitely warn against it.

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A

Using superglue instead of staples or sutures is a well established surgical technique. Although there are limits on its use it is very common in the emergency room. The superglue used is sterile, as compared to ordinary superglue, but is essentially the same thing.

The limitations are that it cannot be used in hairy areas, like the scalp, or on areas where there is tension on the wound, tending to pull it open. This makes it less useful on fingers, where the bending will crack the glue.

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S

I have known a couple of people who did this in the past, but only because they could not get to a hospital or clinic to get the wound stitched up. In both cases they were able to clean the wound very well, but just didn't have anything else around to stop the bleeding- except some super glue. As soon as they could go to a clinic, they went and had the wound treated. As an aside, I've been told that using super glue to close a wound burns like hell.

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H

No most wounds are closed with stitches. They are working on implementing some sort of medical glue, but you can't just use regular glue you buy at the store. That would not be strong enough and the ingredients used could infect the body.

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L

Yes, you can close a wound with super glue. I don't recommend it because it can lead to infection and pain when its time to remove the glue. It is much safer to just get the wound stitched up.
Hope this helps.

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B

That's probably not a good idea. Use a bandage.

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