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Toxicity - Superglue (cyanoacrylate) used to cover cut skin.

by Ouabache
Tags: cyanoacrylate, skin, superglue, toxicity
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Ouabache
#1
Aug12-05, 07:26 PM
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Superglue was used by trauma surgeons in Vietnam to glue the edges of lacerated livers together (ever try to SEW liver?). Works great. It also works perfectly fine in normal skin wounds, and is non-toxic.
The only reason it hasn't been approved by the FDA for this purpose is that the studies would cost millions, and who's going to pay them? Superglue has long since passed off-patent.

I work occasionally at a private research lab which does
experimental surgical research on animals. In dogs, we had a lot of
problem with oozing and infection at sites where arterial catheters
were left in. Now we superglue them and all that problem is gone.

The glue doesn't interfere with healing, and it seals excellently. It is as resistent to abscessing as staples, and seals far better. For
wounds in animals which have been anticoagulated, it's a godsend.
Survival animals which have catheters pulled later suffer no ill
effects, and the wounds heal fine.
Steve Harris, M.D.

The above doctor's quote suggests that Cyanoacrylate adhesives (Super Glue, Krazy Glue) may be used to cover cuts. He suggests that it is non-toxic, but I am skeptical.

I heard of this before and wanted to recommend this to someone who cut their finger and plays a stringed instrument. Any musician who plays a stringed instrument knows how hard it is to play with a cut finger.

Any toxicity to our body or adverse health effects?
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brewnog
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Aug12-05, 07:40 PM
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I have used superglue a couple of times to stick together a guitar wound.

It never did me any harm!*








* Disclaimer: some may disagree with this.
Moonbear
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Aug12-05, 08:11 PM
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Just a quick two abstracts on the topic.

Dermatol Clin. 2005 Apr;23(2):193-8.

Cyanoacrylates for skin closure.

Eaglstein WH, Sullivan T.

Cyanoacrylates (CAs) were not widely adopted for medical use until recently because of lingering concerns regarding the initial tissue toxicities of the short-chain CAs. The medium-chain CAs, primarily butyl-cyanoacrylate, have been widely used in Europe and Canada for several decades and have gone a long way in dispelling any lingering concerns about tissue toxicity. The newer, longer chain CA, octyl-2-cyanoacrylate (2-OCA), now has been approved for multiple uses in the United States and has achieved widespread acceptance by the medical and lay communities. The current authors believe that this is probably only the beginning of the use of 2-OCA and other CAs in cutaneous medicine. This article discusses the use of CAs in their original cutaneous use as glues for the repair of lacerations and incisions and in their more recent use as dressings for the treatment of abrasions and wounds.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...150&query_hl=1

J Surg Res. 2005 May 15;125(2):161-7.

Evaluation of an absorbable cyanoacrylate adhesive as a suture line sealant.

Ellman PI, Brett Reece T, Maxey TS, Tache-Leon C, Taylor JL, Spinosa DJ, Pineros-Fernandez AC, Rodeheaver GT, Kern JA.

BACKGROUND: Previous formulations of cyanoacrylate, though very effective, proved to have too high a tissue reactivity to be used internally. A novel cyanoacrylate compound with less tissue reactivity was recently developed. The objective of this study was to assess this novel cyanoacrylate compound for the use as vascular suture line sealant. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twelve adult female sheep received a 6 mm PTFE interposition graft in each iliac artery, for a total of 24 grafts. Using oxidized cellulose (Surgicel) as a control, two formulations of a new cyanoacrylate compound (named "compound A" and "compound B") were assessed during this trial. Hemostatic efficiency was measured at the time of operation by the assessment of bleeding time and amount of blood loss. Long-term graft patency was assessed angiographically at 4, 6, and 18 months. Tissue reaction at 2 weeks, 1, 6, and 18 months was assessed grossly by vascular surgeons and microscopically by a blinded pathologist. RESULTS: Average time to hemostasis was 37.6, 50.6, and 219 s in group A, group B, and oxidized cellulose control groups, respectively (P<or=0.001 for both compounds versus control). There were no significant differences between groups with regards to graft patency. Histopathology analysis demonstrated mild to moderate tissue reaction at 2 weeks and 1 month in the cyanoacrylate groups compared with controls at 1 month (ANOVA P=0.004). Mild tissue reaction was seen at 6 months and 18 months, with no significant differences between groups (ANOVA P=0.08, 0.62, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The novel cyanoacrylate compound examined in this study is a highly effective suture line sealant with only mild tissue reactivity and no significant effects on graft patency when studied over an 18 month period.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...669&query_hl=1

faust9
#4
Aug12-05, 08:34 PM
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Toxicity - Superglue (cyanoacrylate) used to cover cut skin.

Working on engines is a recipe for cuts. I always seem to nick a knuckle or slice a thumb. I always keep CA available for this very reason. It works better at joining a wound than butterflys and leaves a smaller scar than stiches. I just cut my thumb pretty bad a few weeks back building a race engine for a motorcycle(Oil ring sliced my thumb) and I have nothing bit a thin white line on my thumb to show for it thanks to CA.

My dad told me about this(mom's a nurse and keeps a tube of dermabond around too though krazy glue works just as well if not better) and I've been doing it for probably 20 years now. My dad did it since the 70's. While I myself can't speak with medical certainty that this will not do some perminant damage I can say this has been a shop trick in many places I've worked be it the Navy or for one of the Big three automakers. I guess it has the weight of voodoo science behind it.
Ouabache
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Aug12-05, 08:45 PM
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Brewnog and faust9 - thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Hmmmm Brewnog, did you use superglue to mend your guitar or your hand?

Moonbear - nice job on abstracts!! It seems not all cyanoacrylates are created equally. Interesting to hear the medical community is taking serious look for cutaneous therapy.
Moonbear
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Aug12-05, 09:07 PM
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I can't say for certain if it was a cyanoacrylate, but I do know there is an adhesive available for bonding skin wounds.

It seems the main issue is irritation more so than toxicity. I also know someone who used cyanoacrylates in the brain of sheep with no ill effects. There is a huge range of cyanoacrylates available though, many are two-part epoxy-like compounds (I looked into them pretty extensively about a year ago looking for one that might work for an experimental purpose, but couldn't find one of sufficient density ). I was struck by the variety available. I think the only major concern I came across was the volatile compounds given off during the curing process, but if applied in a way that could dissipate quickly, it might not be an issue at all, especially given the rapid curing time and small amounts applied.
russ_watters
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Aug12-05, 11:58 PM
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Quote Quote by Moonbear
I can't say for certain if it was a cyanoacrylate, but I do know there is an adhesive available for bonding skin wounds.
I had to check my medicine cabinet to be sure, but Band-Aid "liquid bandages" are cyanoacrylate. I've used it a handful of times on geek wounds and it works great.
brewnog
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Aug13-05, 06:16 AM
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'Geek wounds'.

Priceless.


Oh, and ouabache, yes, my fingers. You can get some horrendoudly deep cuts if you play hard with light strings, it's like cheesewire.
Moonbear
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Aug13-05, 09:13 AM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters
I had to check my medicine cabinet to be sure, but Band-Aid "liquid bandages" are cyanoacrylate. I've used it a handful of times on geek wounds and it works great.
Geek wounds? Are those the cuts you get when you smack your forehead on the bottom of the desk while you're untangling wires and trying to find an open outlet for the latest gadget?
russ_watters
#10
Aug13-05, 04:13 PM
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No, those are the cuts you get on your fingers when working inside a computer. Stamped metal parts have razor sharp edges.

I once tried to pull a drive bay cover off by sticking my index finger in the index-finger sized hole in it (that's what it was for, right)? I didn't quite pull my finger-tip off - I'd say it only opened up about a third of the circumfrerence, down to the bone. Anyway, that was the first time I used the liquid bandage. You can't get stitches for that - the ER doc/nurse would laugh at you.
Moonbear
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Aug13-05, 07:15 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters
No, those are the cuts you get on your fingers when working inside a computer. Stamped metal parts have razor sharp edges.

I once tried to pull a drive bay cover off by sticking my index finger in the index-finger sized hole in it (that's what it was for, right)? I didn't quite pull my finger-tip off - I'd say it only opened up about a third of the circumfrerence, down to the bone. Anyway, that was the first time I used the liquid bandage. You can't get stitches for that - the ER doc/nurse would laugh at you.
OUCH!!!!! Oh, I'm sure they've seen worse injuries for stranger reasons at the ER, especially if you were already living in the Philly area at the time. If people didn't do stupid things, they'd be out of a job.

Well, wait, now we can determine if it was a true "geek" injury...were you more concerned over the injury to your finger, or that you might have damaged the computer dripping blood onto it?
russ_watters
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Aug14-05, 12:37 AM
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Quote Quote by Moonbear
Well, wait, now we can determine if it was a true "geek" injury...were you more concerned over the injury to your finger, or that you might have damaged the computer dripping blood onto it?
Well, I was outside the case, so there wasn't much chance of dripping blood into the computer (though I left some skin in it). Things like that piss me off more than anything - I went and got a screwdriver to pry the cover off.
DocToxyn
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Aug15-05, 10:55 AM
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As I've mentioned before in previous posts, toxicity is all about route of exposure and dose. As Moonbear said the nasties that are part of cyanoacrylate compounds are typically the solvents that evaporate upon curing. If you are "huffing" the superglue from some closed container, it will obviously be toxic, re. the labels stating not to intentionally concentrate and inhale vapors. Acute, localized dermal exposure for wound closure puposes, performed in a ventilated area, should not entail any significant risk, you're probably more at risk if you don't close the wound and thus increase your chance of infection.
ernestmac13
#14
Dec6-06, 07:24 PM
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Hi all.

I was doing some research on fixing dental partials when I ran across this forum. I can vouch for the usefullness of superglues and wounds since, in 2000 I donated a kidney to a cousin and, they sealed the skin closed with durmabond rather than with stiches. They stiched the muscles and everthing else blow the skin down to where the kidney was removed with stiches, but used the durmabond to make as little a scar as possible. They used the standard kidney removal technique on me which left a wound at least 10 to 12 inches long, it ran a few inches from my belly button and cuved around my left side up to a few inches from my spine. They also had to remove a rib to get the kidney out. so it was a major surgury. Some places now do micro surgury which leaves the patient with much smaller scars. I knew durmabond was ok for topical uses, but was not sure if it was ok for use on a dental partial, but it sounds like using super glue would be ok for such an application from what I have seen on the web. I of cource think I should wait until it cures before placing it in my mouth since, the fumes can have an effect on people. I think its similar to how arisol fumes can effect people, it may have something to due with robbing the brain of oxygen or something. I have an interest in physics and science, so I'll be checking out these forums again in the near future.

Take Care
Ouabache
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Dec7-06, 03:26 AM
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ernestmac, welcome to PF!! Thanks for sharing your experience using durmabond. I agree, you are wise to wait until the glue finishes curing, before putting the dental partial in your mouth. Yes, feel free to browse around the varied topics on our forum. You are bound to find some interesting discussions.
Moonbear
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Dec12-06, 08:33 PM
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Welcome to PF ernestmac! Wow, I'm pretty amazed that dermabond is strong enough to close that large of an incision, especially in the location you describe. I would have expected there would be too much tension on the wound for it to hold adequately without opening up.

And, yes, it's the fumes from the superglue that would be most harmful, so until it is fully cured, leave it in a well-ventillated area.
Shiggity
#17
May26-09, 05:34 PM
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As I understand it, going and buying Krazy Glue is not a good alternative for a bandage since it contains ethyl cyanoacrylate. The ethyl component makes it toxic and you shouldn't use it anyway since the exact formula may produce heat during its bonding process.

Use an n-butyl cyanoacrylate fomulated for medical applications rather than the tube of Superglue in your tool chest.
mgb_phys
#18
May26-09, 05:39 PM
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A doctor friend was once talking about using superglue in wounds, the glue they have is marked as sterile . His point was that any bug that can live in cyanoacrylate is going to be unstoppable and will take over the world.


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