Don’t Superglue Lacerations—Use DERMABOND! Here’s Why
Ever had a patient come in with a laceration that was best addressed using DERMABOND, and they made a joke about how they could’ve saved themselves a lot of trouble by just supergluing the cut themselves? You’re not alone—essentially, gluing the skin looks the same to the patient, regardless of the container that it comes out of. To help you help your patients understand the difference between super gluing a laceration and using Derma Bond, we’ve created this fact list.
This type of glue is not Derma Bond, but rather the type of cyanoacrylate glue (think Krazy Glue) that you can buy at your local grocery or office supply store. It has the potential to create a burn. Why doesn’t this same scenario occur in medical-grade skin glues? It’s all in the chemical structure. Medical-grade skin glues like Derma Bond feature longer alkyl chains than non-medical grade super glues, which means don’t polymerize as quickly and they give off less heat.
In a case report of the 2013 Journal of Emergency Medicine, Derma Bond was utilized to repair a tongue laceration in a seven-year-old. His caregiver was unwilling to accept any other technique to repair the wound, so the physician took time to ensure ingesting the 2-octyl cyanoacrylate was safe before applying it. Again, the long alkyl chains of medical-grade skin glue made this possible, as it allows the glue to degrade more slowly, which means patients are less exposed to by-products of the glue. Though use for intraoral and mucosal surface lacerations isn’t cleared for approval on the packaging itself, the effective healing of the seven-year-old’s tongue, along with other reports, suggest that Derma Bond can be used to successfully treat wounds in difficult areas such as the mouth.
Cyanoacrylate glues all feature a bacteriostatic effect, and though biochemists have attempted to understand exactly why this is, they aren’t totally sure why. However, the antimicrobial properties of cyanoacrylate glue, after it has polymerized and formed a barrier, is impacted by whether or not the glue cracks and therefore compromises the barrier or seal. Medical-grade glues are created to be more flexible, as the human body moves around far more than say a broken cup or plate, and therefore the antimicrobial properties of Derma Bond may very well be above that of dollar store glue.So, the next time your patient—or a friend or family member—bring up the possibility of just supergluing their skin back together, be sure to bring up long alkyl chains and all the perks that come with using medical-grade skin glue like Dermabond. Click HERE to get yours today. Arrives within 3-4 business days.
- Dr. Nate Whittaker, MD Emergency Medicine Specialist