How long should stitches be left in?
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Q:

How long should stitches be left in?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

Stitches form a loop surrounding the laceration that causes the wound to close when pulled tight, the site notes. Scars start to form around the stitches within seven to eight days. Stitches on the face usually are removed within five days because the region has a healthy blood supply and healing occurs more quickly.

Elsewhere on the body, a doctor may wait seven to 10 days before removing stitches. This is especially true if scarring is not an issue or if there is a concern that the wound is under stress, such as on a joint.

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Related Questions

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    When should you get stitches?

    A:

    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.

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    Can you remove your own stitches?

    A:

    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.

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    How do you take care of the stitches in your mouth?

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    To take care of a mouth laceration, eat soft foods to minimize pain, and dab the wound with hydrogen peroxide after eating, recommends the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Prevent the wound from infection by taking antibiotics. It may be necessary to numb the mouth to eat.

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    How long can you wait to get stitches?

    A:

    If it is certain that a wound requires stitches, WebMD recommends that the wound not remain open for longer than six to eight hours after the injury occurs. In rarer cases, a wound may be left open for 24 hours or not stitched at all so that adequate cleaning and antibiotic treatment can be performed initially to prevent infection. Clean cuts may be able to wait 12 to 24 hours.

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