Wound Care And How To Tell If You Need Stitches

Posted on: 4 May 2018

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Accidents can happen at any moment, but some are much more serious than others. Some may require medical attention, and some injuries may be able to be dealt with at home. Either way, you should know how to care for a wound and how to tell if you need medical attention or even stitches. Read on for wound care tips and how to tell if you need stitches or should seek medical attention.

Caring For A Wound

If you have a cut or scrape or some other type of injury, you need to get it cleaned, covered, and cared for in an effort to protect the wound from infection and to help it heal properly. If you don't care for your wounds the right way, you could end up with an infection and could also end up with an unnecessary scar. Follow the instructions below to care for a wound.

  1. Clean the wound thoroughly with gentle soap and warm water. This will help clean out any debris that is still in the wound such as dirt.
  2. Pat the area dry with a soft cloth.
  3. Apply an antibiotic ointment which will help prevent infections and can also prevent scarring.
  4. Add a bandage to the wound or use gauze to cover the wound.
  5. Change the bandage often and clean the wound often with gentle soap.

Keep an eye out for infection in the wound. If you notice redness, oozing, or the area feels hot or painful to the touch, it could be infected. If this it the case, you should seek medical attention to prevent the infection from worsening.

How To Tell If You Need Stitches

Some injuries are severe enough that they need stitches, although you may not know if you need stitches. Here are a few ways to tell.

  1. If the wound is spurting blood out, even after you have applied pressure, you may need stitches.
  2. If the wound is more than 1/2 inch long or 1/4 inch deep, you may need stitches. 
  3. If the wound still has debris inside, such as whatever caused the injury, seek medical attention.
  4. If the cut is in the neck or in the face, you may need stitches. These areas will bleed quite a bit, and most likely will need stitches.
  5. If the cut has made a flap in your skin, seek medical attention for stitches, as this flap most likely won't heal properly without stitches.

If you have a wound that you are unsure about, get to your physician or to an urgent care facility like Meadowbrook Urgent Care for medical attention.