How to Tell If Your Cut Needs Stitches

How to Tell If Your Cut Needs Stitches

Everyone gets a cut or wound at some point in life, but luckily, most of our wounds are minor and heal without treatment. But some cuts require stitches to close the wound and reduce scarring. 

The experienced emergency trained urgent care specialists at Rapid City Healthcare in Irving, Texas can care for wounds with stitches to stop bleeding and reduce your risk of infection at a fraction of cost compared to an emergency room visit. Here’s how to know when your cut needs stitches.

Types of wounds

Open wounds — injuries that cause breaks in the skin — commonly require stitches. The most common types of open wounds include:

Whether or not your cut requires stitches depends on factors like where the wound is located, how deep it is, and how likely the cut will leave a scar. If your wound is deep enough to see fatty tissue under the skin's surface and is located in an obvious area on your body, getting stitches can help reduce scarring.

Three types of cuts that need stitches

Consider the following three factors whenever you have a cut, and you’re trying to decide if it needs stitches or not:

A deep cut that shows fatty tissue

If your cut is deep enough to show the yellowish fatty tissue under the skin, it is likely deep enough to require stitches.

A wide wound you can’t pull together

If the cut in the skin leaves a gaping opening that you can’t pinch closed easily, it will require stitches to hold the skin in place while it heals.

The wound location is in an area you move a lot

Cuts on areas of the body you often move and stretch require stitches more often than those on areas that you don’t move as much. For example, injuries to the calf are more likely to need stitches than injuries to the forearm.

When to see a doctor about cuts

While minor cuts and wounds may not require stitches, the team at Rapid City Healthcare recommends you always schedule an appointment or visit the urgent care for the following wounds:

If you have a wound that you are not able to control the bleeding with pressure, call 911.

If you suspect your cut needs stitches or you have a wound that requires medical care, schedule an appointment online, call the practice, or visit our urgent care center at your earliest convenience.

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