Liquid bandage is a topical skin treatment for minor cuts and sores that is sold by several companies. The products are mixtures of chemicals which create a polymeric layer which binds to the skin. This protects the wound by keeping dirt and germs out, and keeping moisture in.
For the fast acting, reactive adhesive that is used to mend deep cuts or surgery wounds, see cyanoacrylates.
Liquid bandage is typically a polymer dissolved in a solvent (commonly water or an alcohol), sometimes with an added antiseptic, although the alcohol in some brands may serve the same purpose. These products protect the wound by forming a thin film of polymer when the carrier evaporates. Polymers used may include polyvinylpyrrolidone (water based), pyroxylin/nitrocellulose or poly(methylacrylate-isobutene-monoisopropylmaleate) (alcohol based), and acrylate or siloxane polymers (hexamethyldisiloxane or isooctane solvent based).
In addition to their use in replacing conventional bandages in minor cuts and scrapes, they have found use in surgical and veterinary offices, as they cause less trauma, and do not have to be removed like sutures (stitches) and staples do. Liquid bandages are increasingly finding use in the field of combat, where they can be used to rapidly stanch a wound until proper medical attention can be obtained. Liquid bandage has also been used to treat skin tags.
A novel type of liquid bandage would incorporate amino acids to form peptide links directly with the skin. This product has potential to reduce bleeding during and after surgery.