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​Dermabond Care Guide


Sutures and staples are effective ways to hold together incisions and lacerations, however, the availability of topical skin adhesives, like Dermabond AdvancedDermabond Mini, and the Dermabond Prineo Skin Closure System allow for a gentler approach to treating many incisions and lacerations. Dermabond is a topical skin adhesive, like a medical skin glue, which is applied over a wound opening. It holds the skin’s edges in place until natural healing begins.

Why Physicians and Surgeons Use Dermabond?

Several studies compared the outcome between Dermabond and sutures on wounds, and after healing, there appeared to be no visible difference between the two methods. Seeing as the application of an adhesive may be less traumatic to patients, especially children, Dermabond may be a better choice for wound closure in many cases. Following the publication of other studies demonstrating that a Dermabond adhesive seal can reduce the risk of wound infections, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also approved Dermabond to act as a barrier agent against common bacteria, such as certain staphylococci, pseudomonads, and Escherichia coli.

The American Association of Family Physicians studied the use of Dermabond adhesive for wound care. They listed several advantages of the product, including:

  • Faster repair time
  • No topical anesthetic needed
  • Wound becomes water resistant when it is sealed

Dermabond adhesives are best used on smaller wounds, although they can be used on wounds as long as 15 cm., and wounds with clear, clean edges. The wound can be partial thickness or full-thickness.

Caring for a Wound with Dermabond Adhesive

Once a wound has been sealed with Dermabond, it’s important to properly care for the area in order to promote proper healing in the minimum amount of time, and to reduce the risk of infection. The adhesive usually remains in place for about a week, from five to 10 days.

  • Patients should be instructed to keep the wound clean (covered) and dry. Occasional exposure to water, such as in a shower, should not have an impact on the bond’s effectiveness, however, they should not rub or wash the wound directly. When drying the area, they should pat it lightly rather than rubbing it.
  • Keep ointments, creams or gels away from the wound and its immediate area, as they might affect the bond.
  • Bandages should be changed daily and whenever they become soiled or wet, unless the patient’s physician has given different instructions. Remind the patient not to put tape directly on the adhesive; when the tape is removed, it could detach the adhesive from the skin.
  • Patients should be instructed not to pick at or try to remove the adhesive, even if the wound seems to be healed.
  • As with all wounds, patients should watch a Dermabond protected wound for signs of infection (redness, swelling, and increase in pain), and to be sure the edges of the skin remain together.
  • The wound should not be exposed to direct sunlight or a sunlamp for extended periods of time.

Patients should be advised to consult their physician or medical caregiver if they see any signs of infection or if the Dermabond adhesive becomes loose before healing is complete.

Where Not to Use Dermabond

As with all medical products, there are situations where using Dermabond is not appropriate. They include:

  • If the wound has any signs of active infection
  • If gangrene is present
  • If there is dirt still in the wound
  • On mucosal surfaces
  • On areas regularly exposed to body fluids
  • On areas with dense body hair
  • On wounds near an eye
  • On skin with high tension, such as on the outside of joints
  • Jagged edges to the wound
  • Decubitus ulcers (pressure sores)
  • Animal bites and puncture wounds

For more details on Dermabond and Instructions for Use see these links.