Chin Laceration, Skin Glue (Child)

A chin laceration is a cut in the skin of the chin. The skin may be cut in a fall, or by a sharp object or fingernail. It can bleed, and cause redness and swelling.

A chin laceration is first treated with pressure to stop any bleeding. The area is then cleaned with soap and clean, running water. A cut that is not deep can be closed with skin glue. Skin glue is used on lacerations that have smooth edges and are not infected. Skin glue is less painful than stitches. It may also cause less scarring.

In cases of a deeper cut, a lower layer of skin may be closed with stitches first. Then the skin glue is used to close the upper layer of skin. The skin glue closes the cut within a few minutes. It also leaves a water-resistant covering on the skin. This can allow for faster healing. No bandage is needed. Skin glue peels off on its own within 5 to 10 days.

Certain types of skin glues can’t be used if your child has an allergy to latex or formaldehyde. Tell the healthcare provider right away if your child has an allergy.

Your child may also need a tetanus shot. This is given if the cause of the laceration may cause tetanus, and if your child is not up-to-date on vaccines.

Home care

The healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics. These are to prevent infection. They may be pills or a liquid for your child to take by mouth. Use the antibiotics as instructed every day until they are gone. Don’t stop giving them to your child if he or she feels better. Don’t give your child aspirin unless you are told to by the healthcare provider.

General care

  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for how to care for the laceration.

  • Wash your hands with soap and clean, running water before and after caring for your child. This is to prevent infection.

  • Change bandages or dressings as directed. Replace any bandage that becomes wet or dirty.

  • Don’t soak the laceration in water for 7 to 10 days. If your child is old enough, have him or her take showers instead of baths during this time. Use a clean cloth to gently pat the area dry if it gets wet.

  • Don’t use lotion or ointment on the laceration. These may cause the skin glue to peel off.

  • Make sure your child does not scratch, rub, or pick at the area.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your child’s healthcare provider, or as advised.

Special note to parents

If the skin glue does not peel off after 10 days, use petroleum jelly or an antibiotic ointment on the skin to remove the skin glue.

When to seek medical advice

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

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your child's healthcare provider.

  • Wound reopens or bleeds a lot

  • Pain gets worse

  • Redness or swelling gets worse

  • Foul-smelling fluid drains from the wound

© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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