A laceration is a cut that goes all the way through the skin. The cut can be small and cared for at home. Or the cut can be large and need medical attention right away.
If the cut is large, it may need stitches or staples to close the wound and stop the bleeding.
It is important to take care of the injury site after the doctor applies the stitches. This helps prevent infection and allows the wound to heal properly.
Stitches are special threads that are sewn through the skin at an injury site to bring a wound together. Care for your stitches and wound as follows:
Medical staples are made of special metal and are not the same as office staples. Care for your staples and wound as follows:
Call your doctor right away if:
James D. Skin stapling. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC. Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2011:chap 34.
Usatine RP, Coates WC. Laceration and incision repair. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC. Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2011:chap 22.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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