Stitches and Lacerations Treatment Q&A
Find out how we at Express Health treat a laceration with stitches and the different types of lacerations. For more information, contact us or book an appointment. We have convenient locations in Brooklyn, East Harlem, Coney Island, Nostrand, and Metropolitan NYC.
Table of Contents:
What is a laceration?
What are stitches?
How do you know if lacerations require stitches?
When to see a doctor?
The skin can be subjected to many types of injuries, including scrapes, cuts, and burns. Whether it is a superficial scratch or a deep laceration, injuries to the skin often result in wounds, and openings in the skin that are caused by physical trauma, such as a cut. How the wound is treated depends on its severity, but in cases of lacerations, they are almost always treated with stitches, especially when the injury causes profuse bleeding.
A laceration is a wound on the skin, made by a tear or cut that pierces deeply into the skin; if a laceration is deep and/or long, it can leave a permanent scar. It can occur in any location, such as the finger, hand, arm, chest, belly, or any other area of the body. If the tear is small, it may not cause a significant amount of blood loss or need for medical attention. However, if there is a serious amount of damage, professional medical attention or walk-in services are required.
In medicine, a stitch refers to a type of surgical suture. In a medical procedure, stitches are used to close wounds and surgical incisions by binding the skin around the laceration. Stitches, or sutures, help the body with wound healing by controlling bleeding, making it difficult for bacteria to enter and cause an infection, and ensuring tissues on each side of the incision stay together so they can reconnect.
Cuts, scrapes, and scratches are part of life and happen to everyone multiple times. In most cases, lacerations are mild and do not require interventional medical care, but if it is deep or long and causes a lot of bleeding, immediate medical care is necessary. However, it can be difficult to tell whether a cut or scrape needs a doctor’s attention; in these situations, a laceration almost always requires stitches:
• Deep enough to expose the dermis
• Subcutaneous fatty tissue is visible
• Gaping open so that the flesh inside is visible
• Located on or across a joint
• The result of an animal/human bite
• Result of a foreign object impaling area
• Made by a high-pressure impact
• Contaminated or showing signs of infection
• Resulted from a very dirty/rusty object
• Bleeding profusely (does not appear to slow)
• On the cosmetically significant areas, including the face
• On or near the genitalia
Some injuries are manageable at home, which can save a trip to the doctor’s office. However, even in seemingly minor cases, a wound that is manageable today can easily become infected and pose a dangerous threat to one’s health tomorrow. Any wound, accidental or surgical, is at risk of becoming infected, so it is vital to receive the proper medical care when this is a possibility. If a wound infection is not properly treated, it can develop into more severe complications, some of which require surgery.
The following are common signs of wound infection; if any of these symptoms are present, seek immediate medical attention:
• Redness in or around the wound
• Fever and/or chills
• Pus or drainage
• Foul smell from the wound
• Warm or hot feeling in the wound
• Pain when touching the wound
It is better to go to the doctor than to avoid seeing a doctor and having the injury worsen. If you have sustained a deep cut and require stitches, trust the professionals at Express Health Urgent Care to provide you with a higher level of urgent care. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Brooklyn NYC, Queens NY, East Harlem NYC, Manhattan NY, Coney Island NYC, Midwood NY, Nostrand NYC, Ridgewood NY, Metropolitan NYC, Greenwich Village NY, and surrounding areas.
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