Caring for Stitches...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 02, 2009 2:11 PM GMT
    So a few days ago (Friday) i got into an epic battle with a knife at work... and lost.

    After a lot of blood drama and pain, i now have 7 stitches holding my thumb together and i'm freaked out by it all.. i can't draw, can't paint.. and i'm useless at work (which gets REALLY frustrating...)

    these are my first stitches (that i can remember, i had some at like 3 or 4 but that hardly counts...) and i don't know how best to care for them. My doctor was wonderful putting them in, very quick and easy... but i didn't have any time to think about questions for care and such and the only advice he gave me was to take the bandage off on sunday (today) and the stitches out on the following sunday (back to doc's office for that)

    In the meantime i've been looking up things online but i've heard some conflicting thoughts... keep it covered vs let it air out (once it's safe to) - keep it moisturized (but with what?) and keep it clean(using just water or do i dare use soap...?)

    preventing scars would be cool but honestly i don't care too much - i took the job knowing i'd come out with proof icon_razz.gif So, any and all advice would be great!

    also if you can think of some way to keep my thumb from ramming into things without having to put another 14 layers of soft bandages on it... that would be most useful to!
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    Aug 02, 2009 6:23 PM GMT
    Sorry about your injury. I was bitten on my index finger quite badly by an angry monkey a couple of years ago. I also had seven stitches. To stop me from bashing the finger into things, the doctor put a flexible metal splint that was lined with foam over the dressing.

    He told me I could take off all the wrappings in a couple of days and rinse off my finger and then let it dry thoroughly, apply some anti-biotic cream and either re-wrap or not as I wished. He told me to call if there was any sign of infection (serious redness, swelling, pus, fever, etc). It healed fine in a little over a week. After the stitches were out the doc recommended a vitamin E cream oil to reduce scarring.

    Best of luck.
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    Aug 02, 2009 7:46 PM GMT
    After the first 24 hours you can wash the area, preferably with antibacterial soap, and dry it very well. Use any triple antibiotic ointment (like neosporin) and keep it covered most of the time. If you're going to be sitting around for a while you could leave it exposed to the air but it's really not necessary. Keeping it covered just means less chance that germs will get to it (including germs from the air). Watch for signs of infection like redness especially if its spreading outward, increasing pain, puffiness or swelling, and drainage. Once the stitches come out, using a moisturizer especially one with vitamin E will help the residual healing and massaging it on a couple times a day will leave you will much less of a scar. Other than bulky bandages, you're just going to have to baby that hand until the stitches come out.
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    Aug 02, 2009 7:57 PM GMT
    Thanks for the tips, sounds like i'm going to have to try to be more careful! haven't been doing a very good job babying this finger icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 03, 2009 7:30 PM GMT
    I just wanna ask what an "epic battle with a knife" exactly looks like...?
  • Timbales

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    Aug 03, 2009 7:38 PM GMT
    Agreed, keep it clean, covered and treated with Neosporin.

    Also, do not do anything with your hand to stress the injury or cause tension on the skin if you want to minimize scarring.
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    Aug 06, 2009 11:54 PM GMT
    makavelli saidI just wanna ask what an "epic battle with a knife" exactly looks like...?


    Um, well picture LOTS of blood and little bits of thumb in places they shouldn't be....