Stitches, Cuts and Lacerations

When Should You Get Stitches or See a Doctor?

If you have a wound with one of the following attributes, visit a doctor for treatment:

  • A jagged edge
  • Bleeds without stopping (even after applying direct pressure)
  • Is dirty
  • Is on a joint, face, hands or fingers
  • More than half-an-inch deep
  • More than .75" long
  • Was caused by a scrape of a foreign (and potentially infected) object

When Should You Go to an Emergency Room for Stitches?

Most urgent care facilities, like UM Urgent Care, are able to treat the average cut or laceration; however, if you have a wound that is life, limb or vision threatening, you need to seek treatment at an emergency room immediately.

Common types of wounds treated at urgent care facilities include scrapes from the outdoors, minor cuts from cooking, small lacerations from work or everyday accidents, non-severe dog bites and more.

Learn more about when to choose urgent care vs. an ER.

Cuts and Lacerations

To close the cut or laceration, your doctor may stitch, staple or use a skin adhesive (kind of like a glue) to bind the skin together.

Are Stitches Always Removed?

Usually, but not always. For areas difficult to reach or special locations such as the tongue or mouth, doctors use stitches that dissolve on their own; or, if the wound was closed with a skin adhesive, there may be no stitches to remove. The length of time until you need the stitches removed may depend on the location and severity of your wound. Your doctor will advise on when to get your stitches removed.

Caring for Stitches

Follow your doctor's post care recommendations to care for your stitches. The area should be kept clean and dry. Your doctor may also recommend using a bandage to protect the stitches.