Medicine for the Outdoors
Medicine for the Outdoors

Dr. Paul Auerbach is the world's leading outdoor health expert. His blog offers tips on outdoor safety and advice on how to handle wilderness emergencies.

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New DERMABOND ADVANCED™ Topical Skin Adhesive

DERMABOND ADVANCED™ Topical Skin Adhesive DERMABOND ADVANCED™ Topical Skin AdhesiveDERMABOND has been around now for quite a while. I use it frequently in the emergency department, and sometimes in the field. For smaller cuts and those on children (who might dread needles and stitches) it’s a terrific product.  It’s now available in a new formulation of plasticizers. DERMABOND ADVANCED™ is thicker and creates a wound covering that is more pliable than what was created by previous version of the product. 

When tissue glues first became available, they were delivered in ampules from which the product was squeezed through a blunt-tipped applicator. The delivery systems worked pretty well, but were not nearly as precise as the new ergonomic applicator “pens” that allow for a writing grip and angled tips.

DERMABOND ADVANCED™ Topical Skin Adhesive is available for health care providers in boxes of six or twelve 0.7 mL, each containing applicators. This is a product whose application could easily be taught to a layperson for use during an expedition or other outdoor adventure.

However, simply gluing the wound is not the sum total of what needs to be known. The user must know for which wounds tissue adhesive is appropriate, how to clean and prepare a wound, how to properly apply the adhesive upon the surface and not into the wound, how to properly inspect a wound for signs of infection, and the reasonable expectations of how long a tissue adhesive will remain in place and be effective under differing environmental stresses.

The manufacturer states that this new product requires only a single layer application, sets in 95 seconds (twice as fast as the previous iteration), and is four times more viscous than the previous iteration. The adhesive layer provides a barrier against germs for at least three days, and may in and of itself have some antibacterial properties (although the clinical significance of the latter is not clear).

I have used DERMABOND and also tried the new DERMABOND ADVANCED™ product. They both work well. I like the new applicator, and am pleased with the finish and feel of the new adhesive. For the purposes of outdoor medicine, either works just fine.

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Tags: Humanitarian Care , Products , Backpacking , General Interest

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About the Author

Dr. Paul S. Auerbach is the world’s leading authority on wilderness medicine.