Many times, when you cut yourself or accidentally injure yourself, the doctor may recommend stitches because the wound has its sides too far apart and is not able to heal properly on its own. Currently there are different types of threads for sutures: nylon, silk, vycril, linen. In fact, there are sutures, such as silk vycril sutures, which dissolve by themselves and it is not necessary to remove a doctor or yourself. stitches, but there are others and very common ones that do need to be removed after a while, when the wound has healed.
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 stitches need to be removed now and you have no idea how to remove stitches , keep reading.
How to remove stitches – step by step
If you have decided to remove your stitches by yourself or with the help of someone, you need to 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 the stitches.
- Acquire surgical or sharp-tipped scissors. Never use knives as they tend to slip and you can hurt yourself.
- Sterilize the tools you are going to use. To do this, place the scissors together with 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 the ones used to remove eyebrow hairs, but make sure they don't slip to make the process easier for you.
- 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 it is not frequent, these supplies should be on hand.
- Before starting to remove the stitches, it is vitally important that you sterilize the area where they are located. 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 clearly see the stitches and you can start extracting them.
- With the help of the pliers, lift the first knot and cut the thread next to the knot. Make sure you don't pull too much on the thread when you're holding it with the tweezers, just enough to be able to put the tip of the scissors and cut.
- Once cut, stretch the thread that you are holding with the tweezers little by little with almost no force and you will see that the thread begins to come out of your skin.
- Repeat these steps with the remaining sutures and you're done.
- Clean the wound with a cotton pad moistened with water or a little alcohol.
If you notice that when removing 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. Also, 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, see a doctor quickly.
In the event that you have to stop because it has bled a little and you have to spend another day taking care of the wound, you can consult this other post on How to take care of a wound with stitches .
How to remove ingrown stitches – step by step
It can be the case where the stitches are ingrown . This is infrequent and should not happen if you follow your doctor's instructions and the stitches are removed after the days indicated by him, because if too many days go by, the skin begins to heal over the stitches, leaving these little by little. 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 some reason you or someone close to you has to do it, the steps to follow to remove ingrown stitches are as follows.
- Acquire the utensils mentioned above.
- Sterilize the scissors and tweezers you are going to use.
- 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 been infected, it may even ooze purulent fluid.
- 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.
- Sit where you can see the stitches clearly and pick up the first knot. With the knot up, cut the thread close to the knot. The stitches may be too ingrown and there is no possibility of cutting the knot as it should be. In these cases, it is essential to go to 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.
- 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 see a doctor so as not to cause a major problem.
- If you managed to get it out, repeat these steps with the remaining stitches.
- Clean the wound very well and disinfect it again.
It would also be convenient that, when you have removed the stitches, you go to a doctor as soon as possible to make sure that everything is going well and the wound will finish healing correctly, since in these cases you have to be especially careful and observe if it occurs. any alarming changes in the wound.
Does removing stitches hurt?
Removing stitches usually doesn't hurt , in fact, it shouldn't hurt at all. If, on the other hand, you have removed the first stitch yourself and have felt pain, it is better that you go to your doctor since it is probably due to having left the stitches longer than indicated or the presence of an infection. Remember not to stretch the thread of the knot too much when extracting the stitches, otherwise it may hurt and make you more injured. Think that if everything is being done well, the point should come out by itself without exerting too much force .
When should stitches be removed?
Don't you know how long it takes to remove the stitches? In general, the stitches must be removed between 7 and 14 days after being 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 the doctor to remove the points or, otherwise, problems such as infections in the scar or burial of the points under the skin could appear, that is, you would have ingrown points and/or or infected, which will make the removal process of these points difficult, you may even feel pain when performing the extraction. In addition, if you exceed the indicated days, the scar that will remain will be more visible and larger.
Here we leave you an article that can be very useful to you, 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 treatment of the wound after removing stitches is of special importance, for this follow these tips.
- You can put a bandage on the wound so as not to expose it too much and allow 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 frequent for this to happen.
- Do not scratch the wound and if you have to dry the area where it is located, do not rub it, pat the scar gently to dry it.
- Apply sunscreen to protect the scar from UV rays, as they are harmful to it. Here we give you 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 finish healing 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 in the air 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 outside cover them to protect the wound with stitches or the recent scar without stitches, in the same way that you can do when these are removed.