Font Size

Removing Stitches (cont.)

After Removing Stitches Procedure

Wound care after suture removal is just as important as it was prior to removal of the stitches. Take good care of the wound so it will heal and not scar.

  • Keep adhesive strips on the wound for about 5 days. Then soak them for removal. Do not peel them off.
  • Continue to keep the wound clean and dry.
  • Skin regains tensile strength slowly. At the time of suture removal, the wound has only regained about 5%-10% of its strength. Therefore, protect the wound from injury during the next month.
  • Injured tissue also requires additional protection from sun's damaging ultraviolet rays for the next several months. The use of sunscreen during this period of healing is advised for those areas that are exposed.
  • The use of vitamin E topically has also been suggested to be helpful in the healing process of the damaged skin. This should only be considered once the skin edges are healed and are closed together.

When to Seek Medical Care after Stitches Removal

If the following signs of infection adjacent to the sutures are present, call the doctor.

  • Redness
  • Increasing pain
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Red streaks progressing away from the sutured site
  • Material coming from out of the wound
  • If the wound reopens and bleeding occurs, call the doctor.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/2/2016
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Removing Stitches

Suture Care
Suture Care Sutures, or stitches, are the most comm...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Removing Stitches:

Removing Stitches - Experience

How was your experience having your stitches removed?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Suturing Techniques »

As a method for closing cutaneous wounds, the technique of suturing is thousands of years old.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary