How to Take Care of Stitches: Do’s And Don’ts
Besides being known to use first aid, most people don’t know how to take care of stitches. This write-up suggests some beneficial tips to take the best care of stitches and to avoid issues like infections, scarring, or slow healing. Sutures or stitches are commonly used to treat minor injuries or cuts that won’t heal on their own, as well as surgical incisions. Closing a cut or incision is a relatively safe process, but many individuals have questions about how to take care of stitches.
4 Significant Tips To Take Best Care of Stitches
If you or someone close to you has wounds to put in stitches, the following are some essential tips to take good care of stitches to avoid infection, itching, or slow healing.
Maintain The Cleanliness Of The Wound
Most healthcare experts suggest keeping the cut or wound clean and dry until 24 hours after the stitching procedure to eliminate the possibility of infection. Use dabs gently with a moist rag after 24 hours to keep the incision clean, removing dirt, debris, and seeping fluids. Depending on the extent of the wound, you should want to cover it with a bandage to keep it clean. If your loving kids have stitches on any wound, teach them how to take care of stitches. Make them understand that they should not play in the sand, dirt, or mud until the stitches have been removed.
Avoid Excessive Water
However, you will use water to clean the injury, but keeping it wet or exposing it to moisture for too much time can affect the stitches’ unification. Stay away from swimming or bathing until the stitches are not removed. A gentle shower can be taken, but make sure the water is not directly spreading on the wound and if the wound gets wet, gently pat it to dry. Avoid staying in the shower for too long.
Avoid Scratching In Response To Itching
This is the most crucial tip on how to take care of stitches, as stitches might be itchy, but resisting the impulse to scratch them is crucial. In the worst-case situation, the stitches will be ripped or yanked out. If the fingers and hands are dirty, a lot of scratching can raise the risk of infection. Because children are more likely to scratch the wound, parents should wrap it with gauze and antibiotic ointment to keep their fingers away.
Do Not Move Unnecessarily
Excessive movement around the cut or wound might rip the stitches and cause the wound to reopen; therefore, it’s better to avoid putting pressure on or near the wound whenever possible. The majority of adults will have no problems here. Unfortunately, children with stitches tend to forget or choose to ignore the risk while playing. Therefore, instruct your kiddo on how to take care of stitches. Tell them that not all movements will be prohibited, but they need to understand that stretching the vulnerable area should be avoided. Until the stitches are removed, physical sports should be avoided.
Symptoms to Be Careful And Visit Doctor
Follow all the instructions given by your doctor or healthcare experts and pay attention to tips on how to take care of stitches mentioned above to be less likely to experience infection or complications with your wound. But, you must become familiar with the symptoms of infection to know when you should take further treatment.
Increased Pain: Although there may be some discomfort following the operation, the stitches should be relatively painless.
Increasing Redness: Keep an eye out for redness that spreads away from the wound.
Swelling: Swelling is usual following surgery, but it should go away quickly.
Pus: It’s normal if fluids leak from a wound, but excessive pus indicates infection.
Lousy Odor: The wound should not have a foul odor. If this happens, it’s critical to get medical help right away.
Fever: Fever is a sign of infection, so keep a watch out for it.
Getting Stitches Taken Out
Further to how to take care of stitches, you should also know how it is taken out. However, some stitches dissolve by themselves, while others need a healthcare expert to be taken out or to re-open. Returning to the doctor to take out stitches relies on the type of wound or cut and where it is located on the body. Stitches over joints such as knees or elbows usually stay for longer compared to other parts of the body.
Putting stitches in is more complex than pulling them out, and taking them out takes less time than putting them in. The stitch will be cut at the knot, and your doctor or nurse will pull out the small thread. You may feel a sensation, but it should not be uncomfortable.
Tips to Make Scars Less Visible
While you are aware of the tips on how to take care of stitches, you might be concerned about the scars being left after stitches are taken out. These marks will disappear or become less visible with time. Here are a few tips to make scars less visible.
Take Protection Against The Sun
For up to 6 months after an accident, sun-damaged skin is considerably more prone to discolor. As much as possible, keep your head and body covered with a cap or coat. Use sunscreen to prevent the scar from darkening, but wait two weeks after the wound has healed before applying it.
Read Also: Protect Skin From UV And UVB Rays
Use Silicone Gels or Sheets
If you use silicone-based products for at least 12 hours a day, they may help soften scars and improve color. However, consult your doctor before attempting this.
Extract of Onion
Your doctor may recommend a lotion containing this extract (Mederma).
Rub the scar in circles with medium pressure with your fingers. This may aid in the softening and flattening of your scar.
The information on how to take care of stitches compiled in this article is an educational aid only. It is neither medical advice nor treatment for a specific health condition. Consult with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or healthcare expert before following any medication course or procedure to verify if it is suitable and effective for you.