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 different types of suture threads: nylon, silk, vycril, linen … In fact, there are sutures, such as vicryl silk, that dissolve by themselves and it is not necessary 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.
A healthcare professional should always remove the stitches, be it a doctor, nurse, or other specialists, but go to your doctor if you cannot. It is necessary to remove the stitches now and you have no idea how to remove stitches.
How to remove stitches – step by step
If you have decided to remove the stitches by yourself or with someone’s help, you mustn’t do it without knowing how to do it. A doctor should do this process 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.
Get sharp-tipped or surgical scissors. Never use knives as they tend to slip and can injure you.
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.
Bandages and an anti-inflammatory and/or antibiotic cream are important if the wound has not healed properly and begins to bleed. Although this is rare, these supplies should be kept on hand.
Before removing the stitches, it is vitally important that you sterilize the area where they are. To do this:
- Wash with soap and plenty of water.
- 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.
Using 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 tweezers, just enough to be able to put the tip of the scissors in and cut.
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.
Repeat these steps with the remaining sutures and you’re done.
Clean the wound with a cotton ball moistened with water or a little alcohol.
If you notice that the wound begins to bleed when you remove the first knot, do not remove the rest and go to your doctor since it may not yet be time to remove the stitches. 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.
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 your doctor’s instructions 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 bury in it. If this happens, you must 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 have to do it, the steps to follow to remove the ingrown stitches are as follows.
Acquire the utensils mentioned above.
Sterilize the scissors and tweezers that 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 become 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 points clearly and pick up 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 remove the stitches.
Once cut, stretch the thread that you held 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 to cause a bigger problem.
If you have managed to remove it, repeat these steps with the remaining stitches.
Clean the wound very well and disinfect it again.
It would also be advisable that, when you have removed the stitches, you go to a doctor as soon as possible to ensure that everything is going well. The wound will finish healing correctly. In these cases, you have to take special care and observe an alarming change in the wound.
Do removing stitches hurt?
In general, removing the stitches does not hurt. It should not 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 as it is probably due to having left the stitches for longer than indicated or the presence of an infection. Remember not to overstretch the knotted thread when removing the stitches, as 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? Generally, stitches should be removed between 7 and 14 days after they have been placed. Depending on the location and 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. Otherwise, problems such as infections in the scar or burial of the stitches under the skin could appear. You would have the stitches ingrown or infected, which will make the removal process of these points difficult. You may even feel pain when performing the extraction. If you exceed the indicated days, the scar that will remain will surely be more visible and larger.
How to care for a wound after removing stitches
The treatment of the wound after removing stitches is particularly important to do so 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 ensure 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.
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.