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Suture Questions

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Care at Home

  • SUTURE CARE FOR A NORMAL SUTURED WOUND: * Keep sutured wounds completely dry for first 24 hours. (4 hours for Dermabond skin glue). If needed, use a sponge bath. * After 24 hours, can take brief showers. * Avoid swimming, baths or soaking the wound until sutures are removed. Avoid getting Dermabond skin glue wet until it has fallen off. Reason: Water in the wound can interfere with healing. * Use an antibiotic ointment 3 times a day. An example is Polysporin. No prescription is needed. Reason: To prevent infection and a thick scab. (Caution: Don't apply any ointments or creams to Dermabond skin glue.) * Cleanse surface with warm water once daily or if becomes dirty. * Change wound dressing when wet or dirty. * A dressing is no longer needed when edge of wound closed. This takes about 48 hours. Exception: Dressing is needed to prevent sutures from catching on clothing.
  • REMOVAL DATE: Guidelines for when particular sutures (stitches) should be removed:Face4-5 daysNeck 7 daysArms and back of hands7 daysScalp7-10 daysChest, abdomen or back7- 10 daysLegs and top of feet10 daysPalms, soles, fingers or toes12-14 daysOverlying a joint12-14 days
  • REMOVAL DELAYS: * Don't miss your appointment for removing sutures. * Leaving sutures in too long can leave skin marks. Sometimes, it can cause scarring. * It also makes taking the sutures out harder.
  • SUTURE OUT EARLY: * If the sutures come out early, close the wound with tape. You can also use butterfly Band-Aids. * Do this until the office visit.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Starts to looks infected * Fever occurs * Sutures come out early * Your child becomes worse
  • WOUND PROTECTION: After taking the sutures out: * Protect the wound from injury during the month after. * Avoid sports that could re-injure the wound. If a sport is essential, cover with tape before playing. * Allow the scab to fall off on its own. Do not try to pick it off. (Reason: Prevents scarring.)
  • PAIN MEDICINE: * To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed. See Dose Table.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
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    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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