Stitches – known as sutures in the medical field – are a type of surgical thread that are used to sew up wounds to promote healing and prevent scarring and infections. Stitches can be made out of a variety of materials, including silk or nylon, and can even be made of dissolvable material so they don’t have to be removed. The nature and location of the cut determines the type of stitches that will be used. Dissolvable stitches are typically used in deep wounds. Traditional stitches (stitches that will need to be removed by a doctor) can be in place from anywhere to a couple of days to a couple of weekends, depending on the location and severity.
But, how can you tell if you need stitches? At first glance, it’s not always easy to determine if a cut requires stitches. Generally speaking, you should seek medical attention for a cut that is:
- Located on your face, hands, or other part of your body where you’re worried you may scar
- Bleeding profusely and/or won’t stop bleeding after approximately 20 minutes of pressure
- Deep and/or gaping
- Located on an area of the body that doesn’t function properly after being cut, like a hand or knee
Did you know that you can get stitches at urgent care?
If you’re unsure if you require stitches, it’s always best to be safe and get a consultation from a medical professional. Getting stitches is a painless procedure and helps wounds heal without scarring or infection.