Frequent question: Should you keep stitches dry or moist?

Is it better to keep stitches moist or dry?

THE FACTS: The instructions for caring for fresh stitches are fairly universal: Keep the sutures clean and dry and avoid getting them wet for at least 48 hours. Doing so, the thinking goes, sharply reduces the rate of infection and improves healing.

Should you keep stitches moist?

After 48 hours, surgical wounds can get wet without increasing the risk of infection. After this time, you can get your stitches wet briefly with a light spray (such as in the shower), but they should not be soaked (for example, in the bath). Make sure you pat the area dry afterwards.

Is it better to keep stitches covered or uncovered?

A: Airing out most wounds isn’t beneficial because wounds need moisture to heal. Leaving a wound uncovered may dry out new surface cells, which can increase pain or slow the healing process. Most wound treatments or coverings promote a moist — but not overly wet — wound surface.

Why do stitches need to stay dry?

It is important to keep your wound dry, especially for the first 24 hours. The wound needs time to heal and moisture will slow this down. After the first 24 hours you can wet the wound for a short time, for example in the shower. Pat the wound dry immediately after it gets wet.

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Why do you put Vaseline on stitches?

Lightly pat the wound dry and then apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly (e.g. Vaseline®). This will help keep the wound moist and allow it to heal faster with less scarring. Continue applying the petroleum jelly until the wound has fully healed. Open wounds heal more slowly.

Does Neosporin speed up healing?

NEOSPORIN® + Pain, Itch, Scar helps heal minor wounds four days faster** and may help minimize the appearance of scars.

Can I put Vaseline on my stitches?

Keep the wound bandaged and dry for the first day. After the first day, wash around the wound with clean water 2 times a day. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing. You may cover the wound with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a nonstick bandage.

Should I cover my stitches at night?

Protect the stitches.

You may need to cover your stitches with a bandage for 24 to 48 hours, or as directed. Do not bump or hit the suture area. This could open the wound.

How do you tell if stitches are healing properly?

The edges will pull together, and you might see some thickening there. It’s also normal to spot some new red bumps inside your shrinking wound. You might feel sharp, shooting pains in your wound area. This may be a sign that you’re getting sensations back in your nerves.

How can I make my stitches heal faster?

After the first 24 to 48 hours, wash around the cut with clean water 2 times a day. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing. You may cover the cut with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a non-stick bandage. Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.

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What ointment is good for stitches?

Apply a thin layer of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) or Aquaphor ointment. We do not recommend Neosporin or certain antibiotic ointments, because in most cases it is unnecessary and may result in an allergic reaction.

What happens if stitches stay in too long?

What Happens If You Leave Stitches (or Staples) in Too Long? Get your stitches out at the right time. Stitches that are left in too long can leave skin marks and sometimes cause scarring. Delays also make it harder to take the stitches out.