stitchesYou’re preparing tonight’s dinner and maybe slice your hand by accident.  Or maybe your child gets a gash from playing on the sidewalk. Do you just get a bandage and wrap it up, or do you seek medical treatment?

Minor injuries like scrapes and scratches are easily manageable, but when the cut is deeper, you might need stitches.

What are stitches?

Similar to the ones in your clothes, stitches are a run of thread that holds your wounds together to support the skin closing up, and lowers your chances of further bleeding and infection.

Signs your wound might need stitches

There are a few telltale signs that your cut might need stitches:

Depth

  • How deep does the wound appear?  If it’s just a shallow cut on the skin’s surface, it should heal on its own without stitches, but if the cut looks deeper than one-quarter of an inch, you will more than likely need stitches.

Appearance

  • If you look into the wound and can see deep skin tissue, tendons, or bone, you should seek immediate treatment at an urgent care facility.

Size

  • How big is the cut?  Any cut longer than an inch should be evaluated by a medical professional.

Location

  • If your cut is located at or near a joint, stitches will be required immediately to encourage proper healing.

Bleeding

  • If the wound continuously bleeds for over 15 minutes, you will need medical attention.  Even if the cut is small, it could be more severe than you realize.

It’s important to determine whether your wound needs to be closed by a physician.  The longer the wound remains open, the more the risk of infection increases. Most wounds that require closure should be stitched, stapled, or closed with skin adhesives within six to eight hours following the injury.  Stitches also help speed up the healing process and reduce the chance of developing scar tissue.


At AFC Urgent Care South Plainfield, we treat minor wounds that require stitching, no appointment necessary.  For more information about the services we provide, please call to speak with one of our medical professionals at 908-222-3500.