Cuts: When Stitches Are Needed


It is vital to determine if your cuts has to be stitched by a GP. Your risk of infection escalates if you wound stays open for too long. The majority of wounds that need to be closed should be stitched, fastened, or sealed with skin glue (also known as liquid stitches).

Rinse the wound properly and end the bleeding, then squeeze the sides of the wound. If the edges of the wound can be held together and it doesn’t look bad, you might still want to consider visiting your GP to treat it. If treatment might be required, do not use an antibacterial until after a GP has observed the wound.

The position and kind of wound also determines how soon it should be seen to.


It is vital to determine if your cuts has to be stitched by a GP. Your risk of infection escalates if you wound stays open for too long.

  • Wounds that are likely to get infected, such as unclean cuts, are generally sealed within 6 hours after the injury. Sometimes a wound that could be infected will not be sealed until after at least 24 hours, or might not even be stitched at all. This is so proper antibiotics and cleaning can be done to avoid infection.
  • A cut that has been severed with a clean item, such as a kitchen blade, might be treated from 12 to 24 hours after the injury, dependent on the position of the cut.
  • A wound to the face might be treated to decrease any scarring.

Treatment by a GP is more likely to be required for:

  • Deep wounds that are more than 5 mm (0.25 in.), or that have serrated edges.
  • Wounds that go down to the muscle, fat, bone, or other deep tissues.
  • Wounds that affect the joints, particularly if the wound is visible when the joint is shifted or if you can see the bone or muscle when the wound is pulled apart.
  • Wounds that are deep on the fingers or hands.
  • Wounds that appear on the lips, face or any region where you are concerned about scars.
  • Wounds on the eyelids often need treatment for both functional and cosmetic reasons.
  • Wounds that carry on bleeding after 15 minutes of pressure has been applied to the wound.

The kinds of wounds listed above generally need an assessment by a GP but might not always need to be stitched closed.

Treatment by a GP might not be required for:

  • Wounds with flat edges that remain together.
  • The majority of puncture wounds.
    • The wounds are inclined to be smaller, and treating it does not promote healing or decrease scarring.
    • The wounds are normally deep, thinner, and tricky to clean. Concealing a puncture wound with stitches, or skin adhesive might increase bacteria.

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