Does my cut need stitches?
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Scrapes and cuts are a part of everyday life, and most can be treated at home. Other cuts and scrapes may leave you wondering, do you cover them up and leave them to heal or do I need to visit a doctor or urgent care for a few carefully placed stitches?
Stitches give added support during the healing process, and they help prevent further risk of infection.
A cut may need stitches (or other treatment) if:
- The bleeding does not stop after 10 – 15 minutes of applying pressure. If blood soaks through a bandage, place another bandage over the top, continue to apply pressure and seek treatment.
- The cut is long or deep. If the cut exposes bone or muscle, you likely need stitches.
- Something is embedded within the cut. This includes wide wounds that can not easily be closed and increase the chance of getting debris in them.
- The cut occurred as a result of an animal or human bite or was punctured by another object that might cause infection.
- The cut is on the mouth, nose, face, joint (such as knee or elbow), or genitals.
If any of these occur, visit a healthcare provider as soon as possible.
You should also revisit or see your primary care provider, if you think the cut is not healing properly, or may be showing signs of infection.
Common signs of infection include:
- Pus coming from the wound
The cut may need to be cleaned or stitched, and you may be given medication.
If you are unsure about the need for stitches, don’t hesitate to seek treatment from our urgent care.
Our team of medical providers will assess and treat your wound in the most appropriate manner.