There are various signs to look for that indicate when stitches are infected, including yellow or green discharge from the wound, changes in the size of the incision, redness around the stitches, hardening of the surrounding area and excessive bleeding, according to WebMD. Stitches are one of the most common methods for closing a wound.Continue Reading
WebMD outlines other less common symptoms that may occur as a result of an infection, including a feeling of warmth around the wound, an unpleasant smell from the wound, increasing pain and a fever. Although these additional symptoms are not observable by the naked eye, it is important to look out for them after you receive stitches.
MedicineNet suggests avoiding getting the wound dirty or excessively wet to deter the likelihood of infection. Ways to combat infection include gently cleansing the wound twice daily with mild soap and water or by using an antibiotic ointment, such as bacitracin or Neosporin. However, MedicineNet advises against scrubbing or soaking the wound. Instead, it recommends using a clean dry towel to pat the wound or allow it to air dry. If you have any concerns that your stitches might be infected, MedicineNet warns that you should seek medical attention immediately.Learn more about Wounds & Bruises
Butterfly bandages pull the perimeter of a wound together enabling an incision to heal without a gap and without dividing the skin. First aid experts at About.com report that butterfly bandages are appropriate for the immediate treatment of small lacerations.Full Answer >
Symptoms of a surgical site infection include fever, an increasing amount of yellow or green discharge from the site, a change in the odor of the discharge or a change in the size of the incision. A patient with an infected surgical site may experience bleeding from the incision site, hardening or redness in the surrounding areas and increasing pain.Full Answer >
If the wound is deep enough to expose yellow, fatty tissue, it probably needs stitches, warns About.com. If the wound refuses to close or stop bleeding, it needs stitches.Full Answer >
If it is certain that a wound requires stitches, WebMD recommends that the wound not remain open for longer than six to eight hours after the injury occurs. In rarer cases, a wound may be left open for 24 hours or not stitched at all so that adequate cleaning and antibiotic treatment can be performed initially to prevent infection. Clean cuts may be able to wait 12 to 24 hours.Full Answer >