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When Can You Use Skin Glue and When Must You Use Stitches, Sterilized with CIDEX OPA?

Skin adhesives help to pull the two edges of a wound together, allowing it to heal. It is a method that is now much preferred over traditional treatments such as adhesive tape, skin staples, or stitches. There are many reasons for this, one of them being that stitches can only be placed with equipment that has been fully sterilized with CIDEX OPA, as well as leading to more scarring, more treatment, and more pain. However, sometimes stitches are the only solution.

When Must You Use CIDEX OPA-Sterilized Stitching Equipment?

Sometimes, stitches are required, including on:

  • Deep wounds.
  • Jagged or uneven wound edges.
  • Bleeding wounds.
  • Infected wounds.
  • Puncture wounds
  • Animal bites

When Is It Possible to Glue Skin?

Skin adhesives are generally used for wounds that:

  • Are no longer than 5cm.
  • Are minor or small.
  • Has edges that can be pulled together and are straight.

Sometimes, skin adhesive can be used on larger wounds. For instance, it can be used over subcutaneous stitches, or on a surgical incision. In fact, it is used commonly after:

  • Vasectomies.
  • Laparoscopic procedures.
  • Benign skin lesion removal.
  • Hernia operations in the groin.

Where Can You Glue Skin?

The location of the wound does play a role in whether or not it can be glued. Usually, wounds on the head, face, legs, arms, and torso can be glued. Sometimes, it is possible to glue wounds on joints, feet, or hands, although it does depend on level of movement. Skin adhesive is not suitable for the inside of the mouth, the lips, the groin, or the armpit.

How Is Glue Applied?

A nurse or doctor will apply a paste or liquid to a brush and paint it to the edges of the wound. The glue will not be placed inside the wound itself. Usually, multiple layers will be needed. Because the glue can make the skin feel hot for a while, a nurse will sometimes apply a local anesthetic.

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It usually takes around 180 seconds per layer of glue to set. While it is setting, the nurse or doctor will stop it from coming into contact to other things, like your cloths or body parts. This may be done by actually gauzing the parts of your body that should not be touched by the glue.

Once the glue is in place, your wound will start to heal. The strength of a good skin adhesive is that of a wound that has been allowed to heal for seven days, which means it will keep everything in place very well. However, there is a slightly elevated risk for the wound to open back up than if you had stitches or sutures. However, this is a very small risk. Using skin adhesive generally also leads to much less scarring. In fact, you should only see a mark for around six months, after which it will begin to fade. With sutures or stitches, scars are often permanent. If the wound was very big, then a permanent scar will be left, but it will likely be less visible than through other means of keeping it together.

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