Using Krazy Glue is getting a little crazier.
Marketed to fix cracked ceramics or torn leather and plastic, the high-powered adhesive is now being recommended by dermatologists to seal tears in human skin.
Although the packaging on Elmer’s Products’ Krazy Glue specifically warns against contact with skin, an increasing number of dermatologists, nevertheless, are recommending the glue for patients suffering from small lacerations, such as paper cuts, or even more serious skin splits resulting from chapping or eczema.
“Paper cuts are very fine cuts, but they burn and sting. The idea is to occlude the wound,” explains Dr. Ken Gross, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California in San Diego.
Comparable to Dermabond
Dermatologists are justifying their advice because Krazy Glue is comparable to a substance they use medically. Krazy Glue, or ethyl cyanoacrylate, is similar to a product called Dermabond that is used instead of sutures in dermatologic surgery, says Dr. James Spencer, director of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
But Dermabond is a prescription product, distributed by Johnson & Johnson Co. division Ethicon Inc., of Sommerville, N.J., and costs about $20 an ounce. Krazy Glue, available at most drug and hardware stores, sells for only $2 per ounce.
Spencer says he sees no problem with using Krazy Glue to seal small wounds — as long as it is applied with caution. He recommends patients dab a small spot of glue on top of the wound and then seal it closed with their fingers. But, both Gross and Spencer warn, some people may be allergic to the adhesive.
Regardless of the dermatologists’ advice, Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Sharon Snider warns the product is not approved for medical use.
Elmer’s Products, of Columbus, Ohio, agrees with the FDA, stating: “We do not advocate that the product be used for medical purposes.” And company spokeswoman Terri Brown says Elmer’s Products has no plans to pursue FDA approval for its skin adhesive properties.
One Major Risk
That’s because the major risk in Krazy Glue-ing your paper cuts is stuck-together fingers.
To free bonded digits, the Krazy Glue Web site suggests acetone, fingernail polish or patience, advising, “DO NOT PULL APART, Krazy Glue creates a VERY strong bond that’s nearly impossible to break by pulling straight up and down. If you gently roll the skin you will gradually diminish the bonds between the Krazy Glue molecules themselves and be able to get your fingers apart.”
Elmer’s has a special Krazy Glue medical emergency number, should you need to call it.
ABCNEWS.com’s Ephrat Livni contributed to this report.