Sutures or stitches is the commonly utilized method in fixing a wound or cut. If applicable, sutures are utilized to seal a wound. The material that sutures are made of can be categorized as absorbable or non-absorbable.
The absorbable sutures liquify over time while the non-absorbable variant should be taken out within a time stated by the doctor, usually 5-10 days depending on the site and form of wound.
Home care for sutures
- Initially, keep the wound dry and clean as possible. Avoid soaking the wound in water until the sutures are removed or after 2 weeks if the absorbable variant was used.
- The original bandage should be left in place during the initial 24 hours. After this time, rinsing or showering is suggested instead of bathing.
- After the first day, the old bandage should be removed and carefully cleanse the wound using water and soap. Cleaning at least 2 times a day prevents the buildup of debris and allow easier removal of the sutures.
When to seek medical care
If the individual develops any signs of infection, a doctor should be seen. Remember that any deep wound will surely require additional suturing and care.
- Once cellulitis is diagnosed, antibiotics are prescribed by the doctor.
- If there is an abscess, the buildup of pus must be drained. This might involve removal of the sutures or creating an incision to allow the pus to drain out to the surface. Antibiotics are usually given. Additional care measures include soaking the affected site with clean warm towels 3-4 times throughout the day to assist with the healing.
- In case the edges of the wound separate, it might be left open to allow it to heal on its own. Antibiotics are also part of the treatment.
- If there is something within the wound such as a foreign body, it might be responsible for the infection. In such cases, removal of the object is vital.