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How to Know if You Need Stitches for a Cut

Did you know each year, about 29 million people suffer severe injuries that need emergency attention?

While it’s easy to know that you need medical attention when the injury is severe, there are times when you can’t tell the severity. If you’re unsure whether or not your wound requires stitches, this guide will give you an overview. 

Read on to learn how to know if you need stitches.

What to Do When You Get a Cut

If you get a cut, the first step is to take a look and clean the cut. You won’t be able to determine if you need stitches until you have cleaned it. 

The first thing you need to do after you cut yourself is to wash the cut with mild soap and water to minimize the chances of infection. Before you wash the wound, don’t forget to wash your hands and let the tap run for a little bit. 

After you wash the wound, gently pat dry it using a cotton ball or a clean towel.

You should also try to stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound. Once the bleeding is under control, you should inspect the edges. 

If the edges look smooth and stay together when you apply pressure, chances are it will heal on its own. All you have to do is put a bandage on and wait for it to heal on its own.

However, if you notice it’s not an ordinary cut, you should seek medical attention within six to eight hours to avoid infections. 

How to Know if You Need Stitches

While the severity of your cut will determine whether or not you need stitches, there are other factors that play an important role. 

Even if you don’t believe the cut is deep enough to need stitches, you should see a doctor if the wound is located on your face, mouth, genitals, eye, hands, or around your joints. 

Your wound might require stitches in the following cases:

  • You’re able to see fat, muscle, bone, or other deep tissue
  • The cut won’t stop bleeding after 15 minutes of applying pressure
  • The cut is in a place that can cause cosmetic concerns
  • A dirty or rusty object gave you the cut
  • You suspect the cut is deeper than .25 inches

If you see any of those signs, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should also watch out for signs of infection. 

Your wound might be infected if you have a fever over 100 F, the skin feels warm or looks red, the pain increases, or you notice pus oozing from the wound. 

A medical professional might also have to give you a tetanus shot in combination with the stitches if the wound was a result of an animal bite or a rusty object. 

Are You Ready to See a Medical Professional?

Now that you know how to know if you need stitches, you can evaluate your wound. 

Some of the signs that you need stitches are if the wound is deeper than a quarter of an inch, the bleeding doesn’t stop, and you can see deep tissue. 

Do you suspect your cut needs stitches? Make your appointment with Coastal Urgent Care of Gonzales today.