Accidents can occur at any time, potentially leading to injuries that require medical attention to ensure they are properly treated and heal without infection. From tripping on a sidewalk to accidentally cutting your finger when slicing a snack or even your dinner, cuts are among the most common injuries someone can sustain, and can require stitches or simple bandaging depending on several factors. Learn the differences between a cut that can be treated at home and a cut that requires stitches to know when you should visit Urgent Care of Mercer County for efficient, walk-in treatment.

What are stitches and how do they work?

Stitches, also referred to as sutures, are performed when skin needs to be closed up after an injury to reduce the chance of infection and stop bleeding. This is done with a specialized, sterile thread that is designed to keep your skin from splitting as you begin to bend your limb and heal. Sewing the skin back together closes up the wound and prevents infections from entering or spreading. Stitches can be performed with absorbable thread, which dissolve on their own, or non-absorbable thread, which requires an additional visit for removal.

Does my cut require stitches?

The following factors determine whether or not you will need to visit urgent care to receive stitches.

What does the cut look like?

If deep tissue, bone, internal tissue or tendons are immediately visible to the naked eye, you will need to get stitches and receive professional medical treatment. The size of the cut is another factor to consider: if it is longer or wider than one inch in any direction, you should have it checked to determine the best treatment.

Where the cut is located

Depending on where the cut is located, you may be more prone to the skin continuing to split or infection forming. Lacerations located near major joints including your knees, elbows and wrists or located near your eyes will most likely require stitches.

How deep is the cut?

Superficial scratches and lacerations will be able to heal on their own within a few days with bandaging and disinfectant. However, if a cut is deeper than one quarter of an inch, stitches will likely be required to encourage proper healing.

Is the cut still bleeding?

Lacerations are tricky and can be deceiving based on appearance alone. Regardless of how small the cut is, if it is still bleeding after 15 minutes of continuous pressure, you should visit Urgent Care of Mercer County to have it examined by a doctor to determine if it is deeper than it initially appeared.

Stitches for Cuts & Lacerations in Hamilton & Trenton, NJ

If you sustain a cut and are unsure if it will require stitches, visit Urgent Care of Mercer County today! Our center has convenient walk-in hours and we can perform stitches on-site. For questions, please call 609-890-4100.