Comprehensive review of tissue adhesives

Lauren E. Jenkins, Loretta S Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Cyanoacrylates, also known as tissue adhesives or skin glues, are commonly used as sealants for lacerations and incisions and have found utility in excisional and cosmetic surgeries in both outpatient and operating room settings. OBJECTIVE To review the surgical literature on the utilities, advantages, disadvantages, and special uses of cyanoacrylates applicable to dermatology. MATERIALS AND METHODS PubMed was reviewed for relevant articles related to cyanoacrylates and their use in skin closures. Articles unrelated to cutaneous closures were excluded. RESULTS Tissue adhesives polymerize to a water resistant, pliable film after application to approximated wound edges and have antibacterial properties. Adhesives slowly slough off as the wound heals, typically after 5 days. Compared with 5-0 nonabsorbable suture, adhesives provide similar tensile strength and similar patient and surgeon satisfaction. Although slightly more expensive than sutures, tissue adhesives obviate the need for wound dressings and suture removal. They do not perform as well as sutures for wounds under higher tension or in the setting of moisture and inadequate hemostasis. CONCLUSION Cyanoacrylates serve as a safe and effective suture alternative in appropriate dermatologic surgeries and procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1367-1372
Number of pages6
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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