Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Cuts: When Stitches Are Needed
It is important to determine if your wound needs to be closed by a
doctor. Your risk of infection increases the longer the wound
remains open. Most wounds that require closure should be stitched, stapled, or
skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches) within 6 to 8 hours after the
injury. Some wounds that require treatment can be closed as long as 24 hours
after the injury.
Wash the wound well and stop the bleeding, then pinch the sides of
the wound together. If the edges of the wound come together and it looks
better, you may want to consider seeing your doctor for treatment.
If treatment may be needed, do not use an antiseptic until after a doctor has examined the wound.
The location and type of wound also affects how soon it should be
The types of wounds listed above usually need an evaluation by a
doctor but may not always need to be closed by a doctor.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as ofFebruary 23, 2015
Current as of:
February 23, 2015
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.