Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Cut in the Skin Stitches

Home care for lacerations that required stitches or staples includes:

  • Gently dab the wound with hydrogen peroxide to remove clotted blood or drainage. Do not scrub or re-injure the wound.
  • Use hydrogen peroxide to remove scabs that form on the face only. Do not remove a clean scab that forms on other regions of the body.
  • Dry the wound gently, and completely, with a clean towel or gauze.
  • Continue to watch closely for signs of infection.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the wound with gauze or an elastic bandage.

General Guidelines for Suture Removal
  • Face: 4 to 5 days
  • Scalp: 7 days
  • Neck: 7 days
  • Trunk: 10 days
  • Extremities: 10 to 14 days

Sutures may need to stay in longer when the laceration is over a joint, or in an area that is under a lot of stress, such as the palm of the hand or sole of the foot.

Continue to Cut in the Skin Warning Signs

Last Updated: Mar 24, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cut in the Skin References
  1. Hess CT. The art of skin and wound care documentation. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2005 Jan-Feb;18(1):43-53. [15714037]
  2. Hogg K, Carley S. Towards evidence based emergency medicine: best BETs from the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Staples or sutures for repair of scalp laceration in adults. Emerg Med J. 2002 Jul;19(4):327-8. [12101148]
  3. Mattick A, Clegg G, Beattie T, Ahmad T. A randomised, controlled trial comparing a tissue adhesive (2-octylcyanoacrylate) with adhesive strips (Steristrips) for paediatric laceration repair. Emerg Med J. 2002 Sep;19(5):405-7. [12204985]
  4. Norman D. The effects of age-related skin changes on wound healing rates. J Wound Care. 2004 May;13(5):199-201. [15160575]
  5. O'Dell ML. Skin and wound infections: an overview. Am Fam Physician. 1998 May 15;57(10):2424-32. [9614412]
  6. Singer AJ, Giordano P, Fitch JL, Gulla J, Ryker D, Chale S. Evaluation of a new high-viscosity octylcyanoacrylate tissue adhesive for laceration repair: a randomized, clinical trial. Acad Emerg Med. 2003 Oct;10(10):1134-7. [14525751]
  7. Singer AJ, Quinn JV, Thode HC Jr, Hollander JE; TraumaSeal Study Group. Determinants of poor outcome after laceration and surgical incision repair. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2002 Aug;110(2):429-35. [12142655]
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