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Dermabond Care Instructions

By Dee Davies ; Updated July 27, 2017

Dermabond is a commonly used alternative to stitches. The film reduces scarring, risk of infection and promotes faster healing times. Dermabond is a liquid skin adhesive that holds open wounds or incision sites together by adhering skin edges together. Improperly caring for the Dermabond film increases the risk of exacerbating scarring, promoting infection and prolonging healing times. The film will naturally fall off as the wound or incision heals.

Bandaging

Replace any bandages that cover the Dermabond film with fresh bandages on a daily basis. Do not allow the bandages that cover the film to get wet. Do not allow medical tape to come into contact with any part of the film. When removing medical tape that is stuck to Dermabond, it will pull the film completely off or pull it loose. If a bandage becomes wet, remove it and replace the bandage as soon as possible. Always gently remove tape to prevent tugging the skin and in order to avoid disturbing the film. Do not bathe during the first 24 hours after the application of Dermabond. Bathing is permitted after 24 hours have passed. Do not rub the area dry with a towel; gently pat the area. In some cases, the bandage can be temporarily protected by taping plastic over the bandage.

Protecting

Do not apply any body oils, lotions or makeup to the area surrounding the Dermabond or on the film. These products will prematurely loosen the Dermabond film. Medicated ointments and medicated liquids compromise the integrity of the film and cause it to prematurely loosen or peel. Avoid exposure to sunlight, saunas, tanning beds and any physical exertion that leads to excessive sweating. Do not go swimming or use a hot tub until the Dermabond has naturally fallen off. Chlorine dissolves the Dermabond film.

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Warnings

Do not peel or pick at the Dermabond film. Do not scratch or rub the application area. The film will curl at the edges and peel as it falls off naturally, but do not attempt to hasten the process by pulling at the edges. Prevent the curling edges from catching on any clothing or surfaces. Carefully trim curled edges away with small scissors. Contact the doctor if the wound or incision shows signs of reopening. Seek medical attention when film is pulled off or pulled loose. Notify the doctor of any drainage, fever or increase in pain. Swelling and redness from medical procedures is common but gradually diminishes. An increase in redness and swelling signals the presence of infection or an allergic reaction to the Dermabond film and medical attention is necessary.

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