How to tell if you need stitches
Getting a cut on any part of your body can be scary, especially if you draw blood. Some scrapes are merely scratches, while others are gushers that require further medical assistance. Stitches are for deep cuts that need to be closed up. Deep cuts usually will not close on their own and act as a gateway for bacteria and infections.
Emergency physician, Baruch Fertel MD, said in an article in Health Cleveland Clinic that certain lacerations and wounds almost always require a visit to the ER, especially if the wound exposes the dermis, is located across a joint or is contaminated or is caused by a very dirty or rusty object. The latter will also require a tetanus shot.
Shallow cuts need to be rinsed and treated with a topical ointment or disinfectant.
If your deep cut isn’t bleeding, that doesn’t mean you don’t need stitches. Inspect the wound. Can you see fatty deposits in the wound?
If the cut is bleeding, apply pressure. If it doesn’t stop bleeding slowly after 15 minutes, you will need to have stitches.
Are there different types of stitches?
There are many different methods of suturing a wound. The most common method was regular stitches, which was a medical grade thread or gut, physically sewed into the skin with a needle in order to pull it back together. Nowadays, there are options such as skin glue, wound tape and even clamps and staples. Sutures can be classified as either being made from natural or synthetic material.
Most of the new-age sutures are absorbed into the skin as the wound heals, which eliminates the need to have the stitches removed.
You’ll often see sutures and stitches referred to interchangeably, although “suture” is the name for the actual medical device used to repair the wound, explains Healthline. The stitching is the technique used by your doctor to close the wound.