Accidents can happen at any time, leading to a variety of potential injuries from bruises and bumps to cuts. From grazing your knee against a curb after tripping a to accidentally slashing your finger while slicing a healthy snack for your child, cuts can require different care depending on several factors. Learn how to tell if you can treat your cut with simple disinfectant and a bandage or if you need to visit an urgent care center for a deeper clean and stitches.
What are stitches?
Stitches, also known as sutures, are used to help close up skin after an injury, reducing the possibility of infection and more bleeding as you heal. The skin is sewn up with sterilized thread that will keep your skin from splitting through your recovery. While an open wound can easily let in bacteria, stitches provide protection against further issues. Stitches can be performed with absorbable or nonabsorbable material. Nonabsorbable sutures will need to be removed by a physician at a later date.
How Can I Tell if My Wound Requires Stitches?
You can tell if you will need stitches to heal by examining the following factors:
Appearance of the Cut
Can you visibly see deep skin tissue or bone through the cut? If you can see internal tissue or tendons, you will need to get treated at a medical facility as quickly as possible to avoid infection or other issues from forming. The size of the cut is another factor. If your cut is wider or longer than an inch, you should have it checked to determine the best treatment.
Where is the Cut?
Parts of your skin may be more prone to splitting than others as you heal. If your cut is located near any of your major joints like your elbows or knees, your physician will most likely recommend stitches to encourage proper healing.
Depth of the Cut
Shallow, superficial cuts will just require a bandage and disinfectant to heal within a few days. A deeper cut, one-quarter of an inch or more, will most likely require stitches or even staples to heal correctly and stop any bleeding.
Is Your Cut Still Bleeding?
Size and scope of cuts can be deceiving. If you have a small cut that has been continuously bleeding for over 15 minutes, you should visit an urgent care center for medical attention. Even if it doesn’t look like a major injury, it can be a deeper cut than it initially appeared.
Stitches & Sutures for Cuts in Cedar Grove NJ
If you sustain a cut, it is important to determine the right course of action as soon as possible. The longer a wide cut remains open, the greater the chance of bacteria entering and forming an infection. If you are in need of stitches for your injury, visit AFC Urgent Care for immediate care.