I’ve been using New-Skin, a medical adhesive, for almost five years. It sounds weird at first, but here’s the premise: glue small wounds shut using glue. New-Skin works pretty well, despite the associated stinging. I’d always heard that Super Glue is just as good, but until last weekend I didn’t have a chance to put that to the test.
I was a student in a 0 – 5′ close range fighting class last weekend. One of the drills involved drawing the pistol on my right side with my left hand. I was barely able to rotate my hand so I could grab the pistol normally, but another technique was to grip the pistol so that it was upside-down. In this grip, one pulls the trigger with the pinky instead of the index finger.
Drawing my pistol was much easier this way, but when I pressed the trigger the slide cut a 1/4″ V bit out of my palm. Oops.
“You’re bleeding!” another student said to me. I wish I had the presence of mind to mutter, “I ain’t got time to bleed,” but the spirit of Jesse Ventura was not with me and the scene from Predator passed me by. I finished the drill with the rest of the class as blood ran down my hand.
After we were done with the drill I trotted up to one of the many first aid kits available to the class. Until this class, I’d packed my own kit in case I had a boo-boo or something more serious. Due to space limitations I left mine at home.
“Do you have any medical adhesive?” I asked a fellow student. “I have Super Glue,” he said.
I staunched the bleeding the best I could and held my paw out so he could glue my hand back together. The first thing I noticed right away is that Super Glue is harder to administer to a wound than New-Skin. New-Skin has a brush, like nail polish, and it’s very easy to get a consistent, thin layer of the glue on the wound. My fellow student squeezed out three drops of Super Glue onto my wound. I rotated my hand around so that the glue spread over the entire cut.
The second thing I noticed was that Super Glue didn’t stink like the New-Skin did. New-Skin has a very pungent chemical odor. While it’s not something I’m usually concerned about when I’m seeping blood, living with the scent is not pleasant during the recovery phase. I have some on my hand right now, and it’s all I can smell.
Super Glue also doesn’t sting. I wonder if there’s alcohol or some other substance in the New-Skin that contributes to the burning sensation. Two points for Super Glue.
Super Glue also takes a long time to dry — I don’t know if this has as much to do with the substance itself, or because it’s easier to create a thin layer of New-Skin due to the brush. The class started up the next drill before my glue dried. The glue was still tacky, and I felt my skin pull as I shot with both hands or my left hand.
I now know that Super Glue will work in a pinch. I also think that New-Skin, despite being much more expensive, is easier to work with. Several of my co-workers have had to use New-Skin due to various boo-boos, and I think telling someone to “use the New-Skin” seems less odd than “Super Glue yourself together.” I wish they made a stink-less version of New-Skin, but if that’s my biggest complaint then I guess I can live with it.
Overall, New-Skin is victorious over Super Glue.