Stitches, Cuts & Lacerations at Urgent Care

When should you get stitches or see a doctor?

If you have a wound with one of the following attributes, visit a doctor for treatment:

  • A jagged edge
  • More than half-an-inch deep
  • More than .75” long
  • Bleeds without stopping (even after applying direct pressure)
  • Is on a joint, face, hands or fingers
  • Is dirty
  • Was caused by a scrape of a foreign (and potentially infected) object

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When should you go to an emergency room for stitches instead of an urgent care clinic?

Most urgent care facilities, like MedSpring, are able to treat the average cut or laceration; however, if you have a wound that is life, limb or vision threatening, you need to seek treatment at an emergency room immediately. Common types of wounds treated at urgent care facilities include scrapes from the outdoors, minor cuts from cooking, small lacerations from work or everyday accidents, non-severe dog bites, and more.

How are cuts and lacerations treated?

To close the cut or laceration, your doctor may stitch, staple, or use a skin adhesive (kind of like a glue) to bind the skin together.

Are stitches always removed?

Usually, but not always. For areas difficult to reach or special locations such as the tongue or mouth, doctors use stitches that dissolve on their own; or, if the wound was closed with a skin adhesive, there may be no stitches to remove. The length of time until you need the stitches removed may depend on the location and severity of your wound. Your doctor will advise on when to get your stitches removed.

How do you care for stitches after you leave urgent care?

Follow your doctor’s post care recommendations to care for your stitches. The area should be kept clean and dry. Your doctor may also recommend using a bandage to protect the stitches.

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