When Stitches Are Required For A Cut
February 02, 2022
Cuts and Scrapes are bound to happen, and many can be treated at home. But… how do you know if something just needs a band-aid or requires stitches? The first step with any cut or scrape is to clean the wound with soap and water and pat it dry with a clean towel. If needed, apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
Read below for some tips on how to assess cuts and scrapes to decide whether to visit a care provider.
How Does the Cut Appear? If the cut is deep, gaping or has ragged edges you should seek medical attention. A good rule of thumb is anything deeper than a quarter of an inch or that don’t close with a little pressure.
Is the bleeding not stopping? If a cut soaks through bandages or maintains continuous blood flow after applying pressure for 10 minutes, you may need stitches.
Where is the Cut? Areas that move more frequently like your fingers, knees, elbows, mouth and eyes can prevent the cut from staying closed or healing properly. These areas are also more prone to scarring. Stitches may help minimize their appearance and help them heal faster.
Is the Cut Dirty? Even if the actual cut is small or does not require stitches, it is important to seek medical attention if the cut is dirty or made from a rusty object. You should see a provider within six to eight hours after, to lessen your risk of infection. Also, avoid using antiseptic or antibiotic ointment until your provider has examined it.
Remember that stitches help aid the healing process, lessen scars and help minimize the chances of infections. Getting stitches is a relatively simple procedure. The area is numbed with local anesthetic and the wound is cleaned thoroughly. After your stitches are in place, they will stay in place for a few days to a couple of weeks depending on the location and severity. It is important to follow your providers instructions for successful healing. Removal is an almost painless process. The healthcare provider clips the end of the thread and pulls the stitch out. Getting proper care for your cut or scrape is crucial for scarring and other complications that it could cause.
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