Have you ever heard of gluing a cut together? The first time I heard about this I was somewhat shocked. I was selling a product called Miracle Glue at trade shows. I had people telling all the outrageous stories possible about the origins of cyanoacrylates (superglue) – Miracle Glue is in the same category. The prevailing story was that superglue had been invented in the Vietnam era for soldiers. It was more effective than bandages in sealing up a cut or wound closure. I researched this pretty thoroughly and found that although these types of glues were used in Vietnam and later for suturing wounds, “super glue” was “discovered” much earlier.

Cyanoacrylates were stumbled upon by a couple of gentleman at Eastman-Kodak in the 1940’s then again in the 50’s. These gentlemen were experimenting on scopes for rifles and cyanoacrylate was one of their mistakes. The first cyanoacrylates that were formed were ethyl and methyl. In the 1970s n-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate then 2-octyl cyanoacrylate were developed, the latter being approved by the FDA and marketed as such products as Traumaseal and Dermabond. The butyl and octyl being less irritating to the skin. The earlier ones will do the job just not as comfortably. I have had numerous people tell me that they have used all types of cyanoacrylates this way.

Now, though my family is loaded with doctors, I am not one. Though I cannot advise one to use glue for this sort of thing, I can tell you some interesting stories that have been sent to me. Here is one from 3-4 years ago:


I bought a little bottle of your Miracle Glue at a gun show in Portland back in June thinking from the demonstration that it would be a good thing to have when I was out hunting and fishing for all those instant repairs that seem to always come up. Well, it ends up that your little glue saved my trip. I would say life, but that would be a little too dramatic. I was on a solo fly-in canoe trip to Quetico Provincial Forest in Northern Ontario far north of the Minnesota Boundary Waters Canoe Area. I’ve been told many times I am crazy for flying in hundreds of miles alone and far from no where and no body, but sometimes I just feel like being alone with nature to get my world back in perspective. I grew up in such places so I feel totally confident of my abilities and besides, the fishing is great and the bears scare easily.

I am four days out on a 10 day trip and spin casting a reed bed for trophy Northerns[Northern Pike]. My lure gets hit like a freight train and I finally fight the monster into my canoe. I am trying to snap a quick arms length picture to record the moment and release the trophy when the fish jerks out of my hand which is holding him by the gills and begins to go nuts in the bottom of the canoe.

Things happen very quickly. I yank out the pliers and manage to get the lure out and as I am trying to settle the fish to release it I go to make my grab and it grabs me instead by the hand. I manage to hold it by the gills and twist my hand out (not fun, easy or pretty but luckily I had on heavy leather gloves) but now the fish is all tangled in my heavy line and all I want is this sucker out of my canoe. I yank out my filet knife and go to cut the back side of the line to toss it overboard.

Just as I go to cut the line the fish thrashes out of my hand landing on my other hand forcing the filet knife across my left thigh and I can tell I’ve been cut pretty bad right away. Screw the fish, I bang him on the head with the handle of the boat oar and head back to camp. (I ate my fill and left his huge head on a broken limb of a pine tree.)

When I get there I take a peak and there is a nice 7″ long deep slice right down the top of my thigh. Luckily, I keep my filet knife razor sharp so it is a clean straight cut. I am not relishing the thought consuming my weeks whiskey stock, boiling fishing line and doing a hand sew job on my leg. I remember reading something about medical use of glue and figure it is worth a try before a hack job self suturing.

I take out the Miracle Glue I bought, clean up the wound area, dab it as dry as I can and then slowly glue the wound shut using some hemostats I use for removing hooks. It worked nicely and held the wound together. I dabbed some more and finished until the bleeding stopped. I waited and then added a thin line seal when done for extra hold. After, I covered it with gauze and kept it covered the rest of the trip. The wound didn’t get very infected and after the glue came off I just put an antiseptic cream on it for several days and even that went away.

Great job with the glue, feel free to send me some more. Regards,

Jeff J.”

Cyanoacrylate can be used for paper cuts, immediately closing the wound. I have also had several people tell me they have used it successfully when they get very dry skin and the skin on the ends of their fingers split. Put a drop on and by the time it wears off after a couple of days the split has sealed up.