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Skin Adhesives (Liquid Stitches) - Topic Overview

Skin adhesives are clear gels that may be used to hold the edges of a small cut together. Your doctor may apply a skin adhesive instead of stitching your cut. A liquid will be applied to your skin and allowed to dry. As it dries, it creates a film that will hold together the edges of your cut.

If a skin adhesive is used, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions on how to care for your cut. In general, to care for your cut:

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  • Leave the skin adhesive on your skin until it falls off—usually 5 to 10 days after it was applied.
  • Do not scratch or pick at the adhesive. This may cause the adhesive to fall off too soon.
  • Follow your doctor's instruction on keeping the wound and skin adhesive dry. You can shower with a skin adhesive in place. Be sure to gently dry the area after you shower. Avoid soaking your wound in water, such as tub bathing, washing dishes, or swimming.
  • If your doctor has applied a bandage over the wound, keep it clean and dry. Follow your doctor's instruction on changing the bandage.
  • Do not put ointments, including antibiotic ointment, over the adhesive. This can cause the adhesive to soften or come off too soon.
  • Watch for signs of infection. If signs of an infection develop, call your doctor.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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