When Does A Wound Need Stitches?

7 October 2022
 Categories: , Blog

If you have ever been cut or had a minor injury that seemed serious, you are likely going to need stitches. In some cases, you may be able to clean the injury and bandage it. In other cases, it may be questionable whether or not you need to go to urgent care for stitches. If you are not sure whether or not you need stitches, consider the following questions:

Will the Bleeding Stop?

When you receive a laceration or a major gash, the first step is to control the bleeding. Apply pressure with a cloth or gauze. If the bleeding continues to soak through the material, chances are you need to go in for stitches.

Will the Wound Close Properly?

Another issue to think about is the appearance of the wound and whether or not it can close properly by itself. A cut or laceration with straight edges will likely be able to close on its own with fairly minimal scarring. However, injuries that are deep with irregular edges will heal better if it is stitched closed properly. This not only helps the injury heal but also prevents an unattractive scar.

Where Is the Injury?

You also need to think about where the injury is on your body. If the wound is near a joint or any area of your body that you move frequently, such as your knee, elbow, or fingers, you will benefit from getting the area stitched. An injury on a mobile area of the body will continue to reopen as it heals, which prevents healing and can cause bleeding to reoccur. Scarring is another concern. If the injury is on your face or in an area that is exposed, you want to get it stitched to help minimize scarring in these prevalent areas.

Is There Debris in the Wound?

No matter how insignificant the wound may be, it will not heal properly if it is not clean. You can also suffer from infection if you leave the wound dirty. In major gashes, you can sometimes have difficulty getting all the dirt and debris out of it on your own. If debris is stuck in a wound, that means it is deep enough to require stitches for full healing. You should go to urgent care to have the wound flushed and stitched to expedite your healing.

Cuts, gashes, and lacerations are not typically serious, but they do require proper medical treatment, especially if there are other factors at play. You may need a tetanus shot if your injury was caused by a rusty object. It is always a good idea to get a wound checked at urgent care to make sure you heal.  

Visit a local urgent care clinic for more info.