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How to Tell If You Need Stitches

Experiencing a cut or gash of any kind can be extremely painful, but it can sometimes be difficult to judge how serious the wound is. A small cut often doesn’t require professional medical attention. You can just treat it yourself by treating the bleeding with direct pressure, then washing the wound with cold water to prevent infections. Once you’ve washed it, you can cover it with a band-aid or gauze and it should heal itself over time. However, if the wound is bad, you may need to get stitches.

How Stitches Can Help

With a small cut, it won’t take that long for the skin to heal, which means the wound won’t remain open for very long. The longer that a wound remains open, the greater the risk of infection is. The use of stitches help to close the wound immediately. This helps to reduce the risk of infection as well as promote and quicken the healing process while also reducing potential scar tissue.

How to Know if Stitches Are Necessary

Stitches aren’t always necessary. In fact, many patients get sent home from the hospital with nothing but gauze or bandages after being told that stitches are unnecessary. Sometimes, a cut might hurt a lot and may seem to bleed a lot but isn’t actually as serious as it appears. On the other hand, what may not seem like that bad of a wound may actually need stitches.

So how do you know if you need to seek professional medical help? The following are a few signs that you should get stitches:

  • If the cut or gash that you’ve experienced is more than a quarter-inch deep, then you will most likely need stitches in order to close the wound quickly.
  • If, once you wipe the blood away, you can see deep skin tissue, tendons or bone, then there’s no question about it – you need stitches as soon as possible.
  • If the cut or gash is longer than an inch, then you might need stitches. It may still not require stitches, but in this case it’s a good idea to seek a professional medical opinion.
  • If you’re cut or gash has resulted in heavy bleeding that won’t stop, then you should seek medical attention right away. Even if the cut is small, if it keeps bleeding then it may be deep.

Any cuts that are small, such as those that are less than a quarter-inch deep and less than three-quarters of inch large, as well as minor abrasions and puncture wounds most likely do not need stitches and can be treated by yourself.

Stitches in Greensboro, NC

If you have cut yourself and think that you might need medical treatment, then consider coming into our MEDIQ Urgent Care clinic in Greensboro today. You can drop in without an appointment, or you can schedule an appointment online. Even if you’re unsure whether or not you need stitches, it’s worth coming in for a professional opinion from one of our highly trained medical professionals.