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When do you need to get stitches (sutures)?

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It's not always easy to tell if a cut needs stitches. Ultimately, it's up to your health care provider to determine if stitches are needed. You should get medical care for any cut that:

  • Is deep, jagged, or gaping
  • Is on the face or another part of the body where scarring may be an issue
  • Bleeds profusely without stopping after 20 minutes of direct pressure
  • Feels numb
  • Is in a hand or limb that doesn't function properly after being cut

From: Getting Stitches (Sutures) WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: "First Aid: Cuts, Scrapes and Stitches."

Nemours Health System: "How Stitches Help Kids Heal."

The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: "Lacerations."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 15, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: "First Aid: Cuts, Scrapes and Stitches."

Nemours Health System: "How Stitches Help Kids Heal."

The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: "Lacerations."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 15, 2019

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When should you avoid getting stitches (sutures)?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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