It is very common for people, especially children, to need to get stitches. Open wounds happen from a variety of different circumstances and when these injuries do take place, it can be hard for the person, or the parents of the person to know what to do. Here are some things that you need to know about stitches.
When Should I Get Stitches?
One of the hardest things to know is when to go to the doctor to get stitches. How do you know if the cut is deep or severe enough to get stitches? There are a couple rules you can follow. First if the injury is on the face or neck, or somewhere where it is going to be very noticeable, then you should get stitches. Getting stitches and taking care of it properly can help to minimize scarring. If you just let the wound heal on it's own you will get scar tissue that will look worse than a small scar from the stitches.
Also, if the wound is open enough that it is having a hard time clotting, so it is bleeding a lot, then you need stitches. This applies to anywhere on the body. Or if the cut is really deep, it should be stitched up.
How Do I Care For Stitches?
Once the person is stitched up it is important to know how to care for the wound. The first thing you need to know is for how long to keep is dry from water and moist with Vaseline. In some cases you won't be able to wash the wound for a day or two. In that time you will be asked to keep ointment on it to keep the wound moist with anti-bacterial it prevent infection and to help increase the speed of healing. This will make the scar less visible.
You should also be very clear on when to take the stitches out. Follow the doctor's advice completely. If they suggest that you only keep the stitches in for 5 days, like for the face, then you need to go in on day 5. Otherwise you might get the lines across the scar. If the wound is really deep and on the leg or arm, you might be asked to come in after a week or so; just stay on top of it.
Then after the stitches are out, keep the area protected from the sun. Sun exposure will make the scar more visible.
These are just some things that you need to know about caring for stitches.