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If you experience a serious cut or wound that requires stitches, FastMed is here for you. When done properly, stitching a wound will not only help prevent excess bleeding and facilitate healing, the sutures can also help to minimize scarring as your wound heals.

At FastMed, we understand that cuts and lacerations don’t always happen during regularly scheduled office hours. We’re open 365 days and most of our clinics are open 7 days a week including holidays. If you have a cut or laceration that you think may need stitches, the FastMed medical professionals can provide an evaluation and the care you need without the long wait for a conventional doctor’s appointment, or the expense of a hospital emergency room.

What are sutures & stitches?

Although sutures and stitches are often referred to as one and the same, they are actually two different things. Sutures are the threads or strands used to close a wound. “Stitches” refers to the actual process of closing the wound.

When to get stitches?

If you’re wondering when to get stitches, the best course of action is to seek a qualified medical evaluation. There are obvious cases, however, in which stitches will be required. So, if you’re wondering, “Do I need stitches?,” here are a few helpful tips:

  • Any cut on your neck should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
  • If blood is pouring or squirting from a wound, apply direct pressure with a clean cloth or towel. If you have applied direct pressure for 20 minutes & the wound is still bleeding, seek medical help immediately.
  • When a cut leaves behind a loose flap of skin, it may require reattachment with stitches.
  • If an object caused the cut or debris is stuck in the opening, your injury should be medically evaluated.
  • Any cut longer than 1/3 inch or deeper than 1/4 inch should be checked by a doctor.

<!–In addition to the above guidelines, the following infographic will help you determine whether stitches are required. However, you should seek medical attention whenever you are in doubt.

What are the different types of sutures?

There are many different types of materials used in sutures. In most cases, the choice of which to use will be determined by the location of the cut, the thickness of the skin surrounding the cut, and the tension required to close the wound. Other than this, the basic procedure for stitching is the same.

How long do stitches stay in?

Although there was a time when suture removal almost always required a follow-up visit, this is no longer the case. Today, most of the time, a non-absorbable suture for skin closure that does not require removal is used. The provider will tell you if they used only absorbable suture materials.

How long your sutures take to dissolve will depend on several factors, such as the type, location, and seriousness of the wound. Some wounds heal in a matter of days, while other, more serious injuries require substantially longer periods of time. High-tension areas, like joint lines, require that sutures remain longer to promote proper healing, otherwise the wound could pop open under tension. Depending on the situation, your provider may need augment the wound with Steri-Strips for a few more days of support.

Always ask your FastMed healthcare professional for a recommendation on when and how to remove stitches. You’ll be advised on the estimated healing time for your particular type of laceration.

After your wound has healed

Liberal use of sunscreen and twice-daily massage with a good moisture-based cream will help the scar remodel and minimize its appearance in the future.

Count on FastMed for cut & wound care

While it’s always best to prevent a cut or wound by taking proper precautions around sharp objects, there are times when this is just not possible. If you experience a cut or wound that requires more than a simple bandage, your local FastMed provider is available to advise you.

We’re open extended hours seven days a week for just these types of minor medical emergencies. No appointment is ever necessary. If preferred, you can check in online ahead of your visit for convenience. Let us provide the affordable, quality care you need to help your wound heal properly and with minimal scarring.

* The content presented on this page is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.