Skin Adhesives (Liquid Stitches)


Skin adhesives are clear gels that may be used to hold the edges of a small cut together. Your doctor may apply a skin adhesive instead of stitching your cut. A liquid will be applied to your skin and allowed to dry. As it dries, it creates a film that will hold together the edges of your cut.

If a skin adhesive is used to close your cut, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions on how to care for your cut. In general, follow these guidelines to care for your cut.

  • Leave the skin adhesive on your skin until it falls off.

    This usually happens 5 to 10 days after it was applied.

  • Do not scratch or pick at the adhesive.

    This may cause the adhesive to fall off too soon.

  • Follow your doctor's instruction on keeping the wound and skin adhesive dry.

    You can shower with a skin adhesive in place. Be sure to gently dry the area after you shower. Avoid soaking your wound in water, such as tub bathing, washing dishes, or swimming.

  • If you have a bandage over the wound, keep it clean and dry.

    Follow your doctor's instruction on changing the bandage.

  • Do not put ointments, including antibiotic ointment, over the adhesive.

    This can cause the adhesive to soften or come off too soon.

  • Watch for signs of infection.

    If signs of an infection develop, call your doctor.


Current as of: July 10, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.