Every once in a while, we end up cutting ourselves for a variety of reasons. It could be that we were cutting up some fruits in the kitchen, and the knife slipped, cutting our hand. It could also be that we trip and fall, crazing our arm against something sharp or rough and causing cuts. Regardless, most of these cuts can be minor, and they will heal eventually even without any major treatments. However, some cuts require a lot of attention and stitching to ensure it heals fully.
With that in mind, how can you tell if a cut requires stitching? Here are some factors to consider:
1. The Size
One of the most important factors to consider if a cut requires stitching is its size. This includes both the length and depth of the cut. In most cases, if the cut is deeper or longer than an inch, it is wide enough that fatty tissue, muscle, or even bone is exposed, or the wound is gaping, you will need stitches to ensure effective healing. Keep in mind that there are other ways to close the wound, depending on its size. Long but shallow wounds can be closed with sterile adhesive strips, and staples might also be used on the wound if possible.
2. The Area
Where the cut or wound has occurred can also determine whether the stitching is required or not. For instance, a wound across a joint might require stitches because if you were to move your limbs, the wound there might open up. Other areas with cosmetical significance, such as on the face or near genitals, also require stitching. In addition, cuts to the face that can impair function may also need to be stitched.
3. The Cause
While the cause of the wound or cut doesn’t determine whether the stitching is required, it determines the prior medical treatment before attention is given to close the wound. For example, if a patient is bitten by an animal, then a tetanus booster or antibiotic must be administered before stitching is done. This is to ensure that no further complications occur that can put the individuals’ health at risk despite the attempt to close the wound.
4. The Bleeding
How a wound bleeds also plays an important role in determining whether the wound needs to be stitched or not. Generally, if the bleeding doesn’t stop well after ten minutes of direct pressure, it will require stitching. If the blood is spurting out, then the need is even more apparent. Keep in mind that if such bleeding occurs, immediate medical attention is required to minimize blood loss.
If your wound fits the description of any of the issues above, be sure to head to a doctor immediately to have the wound treated. Even if the wound is small, you must visit a doctor if the cut was caused by something like rusty metal or an animal bite. This ensures that, regardless of whether you need the wound stitched, you get the proper treatment process to maximize the healing process and get the cut healed as soon as possible. That being said, if you are unsure as to whether a cut requires stitching, head to the doctor’s office regardless. They will check the wound for you and determine the right course of action to get you healed right back up!
Agile Urgent Care is a full-service, walk-in medical facility offering state-of-the-art and convenient services to address injuries or illnesses that require immediate attention. If you are looking for adult care diagnosis and treatment for cuts, fevers, and the like in New Jersey, visit us today!