Super Glue - a must have for your medical kit
A couple of years ago my wife was peeling oranges for dinner and cut herself creating a sizable flap of skin on the inside of her thumb between the first and second joints. This happen on a Sunday night and she was scheduled to fly to California early the next morning. As luck would have it, I had just read an article on using Super Glue to repair wounds. I cleaned and dried the wound and stopped the bleeding. Then I carefully put the skin back in place and put a thin layer of Super Glue on the outside edge of the wound.
The first thing my wife noticed was the instant relief from the pain apparently because air could no longer reach the nerve endings. The second thing she noticed was that she had complete flexibility of her thumb and she could even submerse it in water. The next morning she caught her flight and never gave a second thought to her wound. Within two weeks the wound was completely healed with absolutely no scar.
Super Glue was used for quick repairs on wounded servicemen in Vietnam. Today doctors and veterinaries use a Super Glue product for skin repairs. The primary difference is their Super Glue uses octyl or butyl cyanoacrylate instead of ethyl cyanoacrylate to reduce the chance of skin irritation. The medical version is sold under the brand name Dermabond and is many times more expensive than Super Glue. Click here for physician's guide to using Dermabond.
The product used by veterinaries,Vetbond Adhesive, is much more reasonable than the Dermabond. The advantage Dermabond and Vetbound have over Super Glue is a purple color making it easier to see where you are applying it. Although I have not used it, Super Glue also makes a gel which could offer better placement control.
I have used Super Glue on cuts that would have required 5 or 6 stitches and even paper cuts. It is really handy when traveling, hiking, camping, playing sports or taking kids to the playground. The Internet has many articles on how to use Super Glue for wound repair. You can purchase Super Glue at Amazon and most local stores. I tend to purchase name brands such as The Original Super Glue and Loctite, but I am sure other major brands work just a good. I would stay away from private label brands as some reviews complain about glue gushing out or hard to open tubes. In any case, always open the tube over something unimportant in case the glue gushes out.
My wife and I always keep a tube handy. We never know when it might save a vacation or an important event or stop a child’s tears. I have no medical training and offer this information based on my experience and research.