Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Nonabsorbable suture care is similar, regardless of the type of suture; absorbable types require time to be absorbed but otherwise share similar care.
First, keep the wound clean and as dry as possible. Do not immerse or soak the wound in water. This means no swimming, washing dishes (unless thick rubber gloves are used), baths, or hot tubs until the stitches are removed or after about two weeks if absorbable suture material was used.
Leave original bandages on the wound for the first 24 hours. After this time, showering or rinsing is recommended, rather than bathing.
After the first day, remove old bandages and gently cleanse the wound with soap and water or half-strength peroxide (mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide with water). Cleansing twice a day prevents buildup of debris, which may cause a larger scar; debris (for example, scab formation) makes suture removal slightly painful, more difficult and may increase the likelihood of infection.