Laceration Treatment in Portsmouth, NH
Lacerations are cuts that go all the way through your skin. Many cuts can be cared for at home, but deeper cuts need prompt medical attention and maybe even sutures (stitches) to close the cut properly. How do you know if you need stitches? Only your medical provider can make that decision, but here are a few signs to determine if you should see a medical professional:
- You have a cut that is jagged, deep, or gaping/spreading open
- The cut is on your face or in another area where a scar might develop
- The skin around the cut feels numb
- The cut is still bleeding after you have provided 20 minutes of direct pressure
While you are waiting for medical care, try to keep continue pressure on the cut and - if you can - raise the cut above the level of your heart, this may help slow the bleeding.
Your laceration could need sutures. Call (207) 536-9661 to find out more. Or if this is an emergency, call 911 or visit your local emergency room.
What are Sutures?
Sutures are stitches used to close a cut or would. Made of special threads of silk or nylon, having sutures placed in most cases is only mildly uncomfortable. Before your sutures are placed, your doctor will need to clean the cut properly and will numb the area with an injection. This is usually the worst part. Once your laceration is numb, you shouldn't feel anything further. Before the cut is closed, your medical provider will look closely for any tiny shards of glass or other debris that may have gotten inside. Sometimes you may need an X-ray to find any foreign objects.
Once the wound is clean, the cut is closed with sutures. Using a special needle, the sutures are guided into the skin on both sides of the cut and then pulled together and tied in a knot, holding the cut closed.
How to Care for Your Sutures
It's important to keep your stitches clean and dry for proper healing. Here are a few other important steps to keep in mind:
- Keep your stitches dry for at least two days after they have been placed.
- It is okay to wash around your sutures with mild soap and water. Just be careful not to scrub over your sutures.
- If your laceration is draining and you have a bandage over it, replace it as needed to keep the cut clean and dry.
- After three days, remove any bandages if you can and leave the sutures open to air.
Remember to follow up with your doctor to have your stitches removed. When your sutures were placed, you should have been given a time to return for their removal. If not, call your medical provider. Most stitches are removed in a week's time to ten days, unless told otherwise. Even dissolving sutures may need to be checked by your doctor.
Get help for your Laceration Today
For prompt laceration and suture care, call today (207) 536-9661. Please do not use our online contact form for urgent needs. If you have a true emergency, please call 911 or visit your local emergency room.
Vibrant Health Naturopathic Medical Center
Address501 Islington St
Portsmouth, NH 03801
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 10:30 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm