Sutured Wound Care
Most contaminated wounds that are going to become infected do so 24-72 hours after the initial injury. Keep in mind that a 2- to 3-mm rim of pinkness or redness confined to the edge of a wound can be normal, especially if the wound is sutured. However, the area of redness should not spread. Pain and tenderness also occur normally, but the pain and swelling should be greatest during the second day and should thereafter diminish.
Home Care For Sutured Wound Care
Do not wash the area for 24 hours. Then begin gently washing it with warm water and liquid soap 1 or 2 times each day. Apply an antibiotic ointment afterward to keep a thick scab from forming over the sutures. Swimming and baths are safe after 48 hours.
Sutures are ready for removal at different times, depending on the site of the wound. The following table can serve as a guide:
|Area of Body||Number of Days|
|Anterior chest or abdomen||7|
|Arms and back of hands||7|
|Legs and top of feet||10|
|Palms and soles||14|
Have your child’s stitches removed on the correct day. Stitches removed too late can leave unnecessary skin marks or even scarring. If any sutures come out too early, call your child’s physician. In the meantime, reinforce the wound with tape or butterfly Band-Aids. Continue the tape until the date when the sutures would have been removed.
Protection After Suture Removal
- Protect the wound from injury during the following month.
- Avoid sports that could reinjure the wound. If a sport is essential, apply tape before playing.
If your child needed sutures, he will develop a scar. The scar can be kept to a minimum by taking the sutures out at the right time, preventing wound infections, and protecting the wound from being reinjured during the following month. The healing process continues for 6 to 12 months, and only then will the scar assume its final appearance.
Special skin glue can be used to close some lacerations that do not cross a joint. The glue acts just like sutures and the care of the wound is similar to sutures. The glue takes 30 minutes to completely dry and will start to flake off about 1 week after application. Keep the area dry for 24 hours. Do not apply an antibiotic ointment and do not soak the wound in water for 1 week. Just as with sutures, your child will have a scar after a wound is glued closed.
CALL OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY if:
- An unexplained fever (over 100°F or 37.8°C) occurs.
- A red streak or red area spreads from the wound.
Within 24 hours if:
- The wound looks infected (pus or a pimple).
- The wound becomes more painful than it was on the second day.
- A stitch comes out early.
- You have other concerns or questions.