Laceration, Skin Adhesive

A laceration is a cut through the skin. You have a laceration that your healthcare provider has closed with skin adhesive, a type of skin glue.

Home care

You may take over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen for pain, unless your provider prescribed another pain medicine. Talk with your healthcare provider before using these medicines if you have chronic liver or kidney disease or ever had a stomach ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding.

General care

  • Keep the wound clean and dry. You may shower or bathe as usual, but don't use soaps, lotions, or ointments on the wound area. Don't scrub the wound. After bathing, pat the wound dry with a soft towel.

  • Don't scratch, rub, or pick at the adhesive film. Don't place tape directly over the film.

  • Don't apply liquids such as peroxide, ointments, or creams to the wound while the film is in place. These may dissolve the adhesive too soon.

  • Most skin wounds heal without problems. However, an infection sometimes occurs despite correct treatment. Watch for the signs of infection listed below.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised. The adhesive film or skin glue usually falls off in 5 to 10 days.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Signs of infection:

    • Fever of 100.4ºF (38ºC) or higher, or as advised by your healthcare provider

    • Increasing pain in the wound

    • Increasing redness or swelling

    • Pus coming from the wound

  • Wound bleeds more than a small amount or bleeding doesn’t stop

  • Glue comes off earlier than expected and the wound edges come apart

  • You feel numbness or weakness in the wound area that doesn’t go away

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