Try to keep your stitches dry for at least 48 hours after surgery. A doctor or nurse will tell you when you can get your stitches wet or if they need to be kept dry.
Why do stitches need to stay dry?
It is important to keep your wound dry, especially for the first 24 hours. The wound needs time to heal and moisture will slow this down. After the first 24 hours you can wet the wound for a short time, for example in the shower. Pat the wound dry immediately after it gets wet.
Should I let stitches air dry?
A: Airing out most wounds isn’t beneficial because wounds need moisture to heal. Leaving a wound uncovered may dry out new surface cells, which can increase pain or slow the healing process. Most wound treatments or coverings promote a moist — but not overly wet — wound surface.
When can I leave my stitches uncovered?
You may need to cover your stitches with a bandage for 24 to 48 hours, or as directed. Do not bump or hit the suture area. This could open the wound.
Do stitches need to be covered at all times?
Cover your stitches or staples with a bandage or gauze, unless your doctor or nurse tells you not to. Avoid activities or sports that could hurt the area of your stitches or staples for 1 to 2 weeks. (Your doctor or nurse will tell you exactly how long to avoid these activities.)
When can stitches get wet?
After 48 hours, surgical wounds can get wet without increasing the risk of infection. After this time, you can get your stitches wet briefly with a light spray (such as in the shower), but they should not be soaked (for example, in the bath). Make sure you pat the area dry afterwards.
How do you tell if stitches are healing properly?
First, here are signs your wound is healing properly
There may be some swelling, pain, redness and clear discharge, but Dr. Gordillo says that’s OK as long as it’s not too much and doesn’t last more than a week. As the wound starts to heal, new tissue will start to grow over the wound.
Is it better to keep a wound covered or uncovered?
Why you should cover a wound
Covering the wound maintains the natural moisture that helps keep cells alive. An exposed cut will pick up dirt and debris from the air. A wound that heals in a moist environment is less likely to leave a scar. An uncovered wound is more likely to be painful.
Is it better to leave a wound open or covered?
Leaving a wound uncovered helps it stay dry and helps it heal. If the wound isn’t in an area that will get dirty or be rubbed by clothing, you don’t have to cover it.
Why do you put Vaseline on stitches?
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends petroleum jelly for keeping a wound moist and to help prevent it from drying out and forming a scab, because they take longer to heal. This will also help prevent a scar from getting too large, deep or itchy.
How do you help stitches heal faster?
After the first 24 to 48 hours, wash around the cut with clean water 2 times a day. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing. You may cover the cut with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a non-stick bandage. Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.
How do you tell if stitches are infected?
If your stitches have become infected, you may notice the following symptoms:
- redness or swelling around the stitches.
- an increase in pain or tenderness at the wound.
- warmth at or around the site.
- blood or pus leaking from the stitches, which may have a foul odor.
- swollen lymph nodes.
What do infected stitches look like?
redness or red streaks around the area. tender and swollen lymph nodes closest to the location of the stitches. pain when they touch the stitches or move the injured area. swelling, a feeling of warmth, or pain on or around the stitches.
Should I put Neosporin on stitches?
The wound and the stitches that hold it together may be cleansed gently with mild soap and water after 24 hours. Twice daily washing may decrease the risk of infection. Sometimes, your doctor may recommend the use of an antibiotic ointment like bacitracin or Neosporin to help minimize infection.
How long should you keep a dressing on stitches?
The original dressing can be left in place for up to two days (or as advised by the nurse/doctor), as long as it is not oozing. The wound must be kept dry for two days. If the dressing becomes wet from blood or any other liquid, it must be changed.
What ointment is good for stitches?
A layer of polysporin or bacitracin ointment must be kept over the sutures until they are removed. You may leave the incision site covered or uncovered during the day it is your preference, however, we do recommend that a layer of the antibiotic ointment be kept over the sutures at all times.