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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 works best on small 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 my child?

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 health care provider.
  • If the wound seems to be opening up or you notice any drainage, call your health care 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. After showering or bathing, gently pat the wound dry with a soft towel. If the wound was bandaged, put on a clean, dry bandage after the bath.
  • 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 health care 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 health care provider.

Written by Joan Bothner, MD, The Children's Hospital, Denver, CO.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2006-10-17
Last reviewed: 2006-10-17
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 healthcare professional.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
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