stitchesAccidents can happen at any given moment: you slice your finger preparing tonight’s dinner, or your little one gets a gash from playing on the sidewalk.  Most minor injuries can be treated at home, but how do you know when an injury requires treatment at an urgent care center? Here are a few signs your wound may need stitches.  

What are stitches?

Like the ones in your clothes, stitches are a run of thread that holds your wounds together to support the skin closing up, and lowers your chances of further bleeding and infection.

Signs your wound might need stitches

Some signs that indicate your wound needs stitches include:

Depth

  • How deep does the wound appear?  If it’s just a shallow cut on the skin’s surface, it should be able to heal on its own without stitches or stapling,  but if the cut looks to be deeper than one-quarter of an inch, you probably need stitches.

Appearance

  • If you can see deep skin tissue, tendons, or bone while looking at the wound, you should seek treatment at an urgent care center as soon as possible.

Size

  • Any cut looks to be any larger than an inch should be evaluated by a medical professional at urgent care center.

Location

  • If your cut is located at or near one of your joints, you should get stitches immediately to encourage proper healing.

Bleeding

  • If the bleeding persists for over 15 minutes, you might need medical attention, because even if the cut is small, it could be more severe than you realize.

It’s important to determine whether your wound needs to be closed by a medical professional.  You can potentially increase your risk of infection the longer the wound remains open, so you should seek care within six to eight hours following the injury.  Stitches not only reduce your chances of developing scar tissue, but it also helps speed up the overall healing process.

At AFC Urgent Care West Orange, we treat minor wounds that may require stitching, no appointment necessary.  For more information about the services we provide, please call to speak with one of our medical professionals at 973-669-5900.