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.
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.