Cuts and stitches

If a wound is very long or deep or if its edges are far apart, then you may need stitches. The doctor will use some type of anesthetic (say: an-iss-THET-ik) on your skin to numb it (numb means you won’t be able to feel anything there for a while). This numbing medicine might be applied directly or through a shot.

Then the doctor will suture (say: SOO-chur), or sew, the edges of the cut together with a small needle and special thread.

For more minor cuts, the doctor might use a special kind of glue to close your cut instead of stitches. This glue holds the sides of the cut together so the skin can begin to heal. The glue will dissolve over time.

If you do get stitches, after the wound heals (in about a week) you will need to go back to the doctor to get those stitches taken out. The doctor will just snip the thread with scissors and gently pull out the threads. It feels funny but usually doesn’t hurt. Sometimes the doctor may use stitches that dissolve on their own over time and don’t need to be removed.

Sometimes, a small scar forms after stitches are removed. If you don’t get the proper care for a serious cut, a more noticeable scar may form.

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