If you or your child has recently had stitches you might be wondering what you need to do to care for them. Stitches can leave a nasty scar if you are not careful. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to ensure that the stitches heal properly and that you don't have a large scar. Here is what you need to know.
Hours After The Stitches
Immediately after the stitches you should keep them covered and moist. The doctor will probably give you some type of ointment to keep on the stitches to keep them from hurting and to keep them protected from infection. To protect the area from excessive bleeding and infection, keep it covered with whatever the doctor gave you.
24 Hours After The Stitches
About a day after the stitches you should start washing them with soap and water. This is the best way to ensure that you are protecting yourself from infection. After you wash you can reapply anti-bacterial ointment. The moisture will help the scar, and the anti-bacteria will help to stave off infection.
You should continue to keep the area clean. Keep washing the area daily to make sure that there is no room for infection. Once the wound has completely closed you should be able to quit the intense washing routine.
Days After The Stitches Depending on the location of the stitches you can have them removed days after the injury. If the stitches were on the face you might have them removed only a couple days after they were put in. If it the stitches are over the joint you might be asked to keep them in longer. You should talk to your doctor about when you should come back in to take the stitches out. You shouldn't try to attempt it on your own. If you take them out too early, too late, or incorrectly the wound could reopen, or you could have a scar from the actual stitches.
Days and Months After The Stitches
Just because you have had the stitches removed doesn't mean that you are done. In fact, the caring for the stitches months after they have been removed will be the thing that decides how badly it scars. This is why it is vital that you keep the scar out of the sun. You should put sunscreen on the scar everyday and keep it under clothes or a hat if possible. If the scar is on the face, apply sunscreen a couple times a day. The less sun exposure the scar has, the better it will heal.
By following these simply tips you can keep your stitches from scarring badly. Talk to experts like Summit View Clinic for more information.