Cuts: When Stitches Are Needed
It is important to determine if your wound needs to be closed by a doctor. Your risk of infection increases the longer the wound remains open. Most wounds that require closure should be stitched, stapled, or closed with skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches) within 6 to 8 hours after the injury. Some wounds that require treatment can be closed as long as 24 hours after the injury.
Wash the wound well and stop the bleeding, then pinch the sides of the wound together. If the edges of the wound come together and it looks better, you may want to consider seeing your doctor for treatment. If treatment may be needed, do not use an antiseptic or antibiotic ointment until after a doctor has examined the wound.
The location and type of wound also affects how soon it should be treated.
Treatment by a doctor is more likely to be needed for:
The types of wounds listed above usually need an evaluation by a doctor but may not always need to be closed by a doctor.
Treatment by a doctor may not be needed for:
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