Laceration, Skin Adhesive

A laceration is a cut through the skin. You have a laceration that your healthcare provider has closed with skin adhesive. This is a type of skin glue. Depending on the injury, you may need a tetanus shot.

Home care

You may take over-the-counter medicine, such as acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen for pain, unless your healthcare provider prescribed another pain medicine. Talk with your provider before using these medicines if you have chronic liver or kidney disease. Also talk with them if you've ever had a stomach ulcer or digestive tract bleeding. Always talk with a provider before giving aspirin to anyone under the age of 18. It can cause a potentially fatal condition called Reye syndrome.

General care

  • Keep the wound clean and dry. You may shower or bathe as normal. 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. But an infection sometimes occurs despite correct treatment. Watch for the signs of infection listed below.

Follow-up care

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

When to get 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 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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