It is important to determine if your wound needs to be closed by a
doctor. Your risk of infection increases the longer the wound
remains open. Most wounds that require closure should be stitched, stapled, or
skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches) within 6 to 8 hours after the
injury. Some wounds that require treatment can be closed as long as 24 hours
after the injury.
Wash the wound well and stop the bleeding, then pinch the sides of
the wound together. If the edges of the wound come together and it looks
better, you may want to consider seeing your doctor for treatment.
If treatment may be needed, do not use an antiseptic or antibiotic ointment
until after a doctor has examined the wound.
The location and type of wound also affects how soon it should be
The types of wounds listed above usually need an evaluation by a
doctor but may not always need to be closed by a doctor.
June 6, 2012
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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