How to remove stitches

Many times, when you cut yourself or accidentally injure yourself, your doctor may recommend stitches because the wound is too far apart and is not able to heal properly on its own. Currently there are various types of suture threads: nylon, silk, vycril, linen … In fact, there are sutures, such as vycril silk, that dissolve by themselves and you do not need to remove either a doctor or yourself. the stitches, but there are others and very common that do require to be removed after a while, when the wound has healed.

The stitches should always be removed by a healthcare professional, be it a doctor, nurse or other specialist, but if you cannot go to your doctor and it is necessary to remove the stitches now and you have no idea how to remove stitches, keep reading because in this oneHOWTO article we explain it step by step and give you several tips.

How to remove stitches – step by step

If you have decided to remove the stitches yourself or with the help of someone, it is necessary that you do not do it without knowing how to do it. This process should be done by a doctor to make sure everything is going well. However, if there is no possibility of going to this, you can follow these steps to remove stitches.

  1. Get a sharp-tipped or surgical scissors. Never use knives as they tend to slip and can injure you.
  2. Sterilize the tools you are going to use. To do this, place the scissors together with some metal tweezers in a pot of boiling water to eliminate all kinds of bacteria and other germs and prevent them from entering your body. The tweezers should look similar to those used to remove eyebrow hair, but make sure they don’t slip to make the process easier for you.
  3. Bandages and an anti-inflammatory and / or antibiotic cream are important in the event that the wound has not healed properly and begins to bleed, although this is not often, these supplies should be kept on hand.
  4. Before starting to remove the stitches, it is vitally important that you sterilize the area where they are. To do this, wash with soap and plenty of water. Then apply alcohol or chlorhexidine. At the end of this, sit in a place where there is a lot of light so that you can see the stitches clearly and you can begin to remove them.
  5. With the help of the pliers, lift the first knot and cut the thread next to the knot. Make sure not to pull too much on the thread when you are holding it with the pliers, just enough to be able to put the tip of the scissors in and cut.
  6. Once cut, stretch the thread that you are holding with the tweezers little by little without using almost force and you will see that the thread begins to come out of your skin.
  7. Repeat these steps with the remaining sutures and you’re done.
  8. Clean the wound with a cotton ball soaked in water or a little alcohol.

If you notice that when you remove the first knot, the wound begins to bleed, do not remove the rest and go to your doctor, since it is possible that it is not yet time to remove the stitches. In addition, after removing the stitches, you need to pay attention to your wound, to make sure it is healing as it should. If you notice any strange changes, go quickly to the doctor.

In the event that you have to stop because it has bled a little and you have to spend some more day caring for the wound, you can consult this other post on How to care for a wound with stitches.

How to remove stitches - How to remove stitches - step by step

How to remove ingrown stitches – step by step

It may be the case where the stitches are ingrown. This is rare and should not happen if you follow the instructions of your doctor and the stitches are removed after the days indicated by this, because if too many days go by, the skin begins to heal over the stitches, leaving these little to little buried in it. If this happens, it is important that you go to your doctor, since removing them becomes a painful process, sometimes even difficult. However, if for any reason you or someone close to you have to do it, the steps to follow to remove ingrown stitches are as follows.

  1. Acquire the utensils mentioned above.
  2. Sterilize the scissors and tweezers that you are going to use.
  3. Having bandages and an anti-inflammatory cream on hand is essential in these cases, as the wound may bleed or ooze interstitial fluid. If it has become infected, it may even ooze purulent fluid.
  4. Disinfect the wound as many times as necessary. First wash it with soap and water and then use some disinfectant to apply it on it.
  5. Sit where you can see the points clearly and lift the first knot. With the knot raised, cut the thread close to the knot. The stitches may be too red and there is no possibility of cutting the knot as it should be. In these cases, it is essential to see your doctor, since it may be necessary to open the skin a little and even the muscle, in severe cases, to be able to remove the stitches.
  6. Once cut, stretch the thread that you were holding with the tweezers and pull it to remove it, without using too much force. Faced with this situation, this step can hurt, so if you notice great pain, stop what you are doing and go to a doctor so as not to cause a bigger problem.
  7. If you have managed to remove it, repeat these steps with the remaining stitches.
  8. Clean the wound very well and disinfect it again.

It would be convenient that, also, when you have removed the stitches go to a doctor as soon as possible to ensure that everything is going well and that the wound will finish healing properly, since in these cases special care must be taken to observe if there is any alarming change in the wound.

Does removing stitches hurt?

In general, removing stitches does not hurtIn fact, it shouldn’t hurt in any case. If, on the other hand, you have removed the first stitches yourself and you have felt pain, it would be better for you to go to your doctor since it is probably because of having left the stitches for longer than indicated or the presence of an infection. Remember not to overstretch the knot thread when removing the stitches, otherwise it may hurt and make you more injured. Think that if everything is being done well, the point should come out on its own without using too much force.

When to remove stitches

You do not know the time what has to happen to remove the stitches? In general, stitches should be removed between 7 and 14 days After they have been placed, depending on the place and the type of damage, they will be removed sooner or later.

Always follow the doctor’s instructions and do not exceed the days indicated by him to remove the stitches or, otherwise, problems such as infections in the scar or burying of the points under the skin could appear, that is, you would have the ingrown and / or infected spots, which will make the removal process of these points difficult, you may even feel pain when performing the extraction. Also, if you exceed the indicated days, the scar that will remain will surely be more visible and larger.

Here we leave you an article that can be very useful, because in it we explain how to know if a wound is infected, so you can easily recognize the symptoms. In addition, in this other article we explain how to disinfect a wound.

How to care for a wound after removing stitches

The wound treatment after removal of stitches It is of special importance, to do this, follow these tips.

  • You can put a bandage on the wound to avoid exposing it too much and allowing it to continue to heal properly.
  • Apply a disinfectant daily to make sure that no type of infection appears, although if it has been closed correctly it is not often that this happens.
  • Do not scratch the wound and in case you have to dry the area where it is located, do not rub it, make small pats on the scar to dry it.
  • Apply sunscreen to protect the scar from UV rays, as they are harmful to it. Here are some tips on how to protect a scar from the sun and other external agents.
  • If the wound is completely closed, you can buy a cream with vitamin E, as it can help it heal faster and better.
  • Check that it is not opening.

There are doubts about whether it is better to leave the stitches or the recent scar open or covered. The reality is that it would be convenient to alternate this, when you are at home you can leave them in the air and when you go out to the street cover them to protect the wound with stitches or the recent scar already without stitches, in the same way that you can do when these are removed.

Finally, you can consult this other oneHOWTO article full of useful tips on How to make a scar heal quickly and without marks.

How to remove stitches - How to care for a wound after removing the stitches

This article is merely informative, at oneHOWTO we do not have the power to prescribe any medical treatment or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

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