Stitches can be removed at home if done carefully and in a hygenic setting, according to eMedicineHealth. However, it is safer and more effective to return to the doctor who placed the stitches to have them removed. This prevents infection and allows the doctor to inspect for any sign of abnormality with the injury.Know More
Stitches are not tied together like a traditional seam. Instead, each one is individual. EMedicineHealth recommends referring to the instructions provided by the doctor for the care of stitches. They should not be removed before 10 to 14 days after placement. More time may be necessary if the wound was deep.
To remove the stitches, first make sure that the stitches are in an area that can be easily reached or have someone help remove them, according to eMedicineHealth. Sanitize a pair of scissors and tweezers. Small first aid or medical scissors work best due to their size and ability to slip under the stitch without pulling. Apply rubbing alcohol to the area of skin around the stitches. Slip the scissors underneath the stitch, and cut to one side of the knot. Use the sanitized tweezers to pull the side with the knot still attached away from the skin until the stitch comes out. If there is any excessive bleeding or the skin comes apart at the wound, go to a doctor. A very small amount of blood is normal. Repeat with the remaining stitches. This procedure is best done under the supervision of a nurse or doctor who is experienced with removing stitches.Learn More
The length of time that stitches should be left in depends on the location of the laceration and how much stress it receives, according to MedicineNet.com. A laceration on the knee requires that stitches stay in place longer than on the thigh because the knee stresses the skin by bending.Full Answer >
WebMD recommends that a cut receive stitches if it is more than 0.25 inch deep, has jagged edges or gapes open. Any wound that extends past the skin and into deeper tissue may require stitches in order to aid in healing and to prevent infection.Full Answer >
There are various signs to look for that indicate when stitches are infected, including yellow or green discharge from the wound, changes in the size of the incision, redness around the stitches, hardening of the surrounding area and excessive bleeding, according to WebMD. Stitches are one of the most common methods for closing a wound.Full Answer >
If the wound is deep enough to expose yellow, fatty tissue, it probably needs stitches, warns About.com. If the wound refuses to close or stop bleeding, it needs stitches.Full Answer >