WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration approved a Super Glue-like substance Thursday for doctors to use in place of stitches on skin-deep wounds.
Closure Medical Corp.'s DermaBond contains a variation of the chemical used in Super Glue. It quickly covers a wound with a flexible film that gradually wears off as new skin cells grow beneath it.
DermaBond takes half as much time to apply as sutures and, because it's less painful, doesn't require a local anesthetic, said Closure, based in Raleigh, N.C.
DermaBond is the second surgical glue to win FDA approval. Baxter HealthCare Corp.'s Tisseel, made from two blood proteins that naturally cause blood to clot, was approved last spring to help control bleeding during certain surgeries or trauma by sealing injured blood vessels.
DermaBond, in contrast, is intended to replace stitches in skin-deep cuts or the punctures of minimally invasive surgery. It is for topical use only, not for deep wounds under the skin.
For larger wounds, doctors still would need to use small sutures beneath the skin surface. But DermaBond then could hold the top layers of skin together for less scarring, something plastic surgeons say may help in facial surgery.
Doctors squeeze the liquid vial until the glue saturates an applicator tip, hold the edges of the wound together and lightly roll the vial over it, much like rolling a tube of lip gloss. Within 2 1/2 minutes, the glue sets, forming a see-through film that lasts five to 10 days.
Doctors must thoroughly cleanse the wound first, so bacteria are not sealed inside, and they cannot use DermaBond on infected wounds, the FDA warned.