How can I care for my stitches?

One to three days after receiving stitches, you should wash your stitched wound since this often prevents scarring. To decrease swelling of the area, you may want to elevate the wound. You might want to wash and rebandage your stitches once a day, as well as apply antibiotic ointment, to avoid infection. Signs of infection include redness spreading from the wound site, increasing pain, drainage, warmth, swelling and a bad odor.

If you experience any sign of infection you should contact your doctor. Stitches are usually removed in three to 14 days, depending on where the cut is located. Areas that move, such as over or around the joints, require more time to heal.

Continue Learning about First Aid For Wounds

Do I need to go to the emergency room (ER) for stitches?
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You don't necessarily need to go to an emergency room (ER) for stitches. You can always call your ow...
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How important is movement when caring for a wound?
Brian Evans, MDBrian Evans, MD
If a wound falls on a joint, doctors will often immobilize the area; movement can cause tearing. Lea...
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What kind of bandage should I use for my wound?
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Always use a clean and fresh adhesive strip (Band-Aid), sterile gauze or adhesive tape. Try to c...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.