Treatment For Lacerations: 4 Signs You Need To Go To The Doctor

Lacerations are common, but not all lacerations need medical treatment. Some will heal fine on their own as long as you keep them clean and covered. However, there are some lacerations that need stitches and a little bit more attention than you can give them. If you get injured, you should always go to the doctor for treatment if any of the following can be said about your particular injury or laceration. 

Dirty Wound

Wounds that are especially dirty because of the mechanism of injury should always be treated by a doctor. Dirty wounds are created by rusty objects or unclean objects. All types of bites, whether they're caused by animal or human, are considered to be very dirty. If you get injured by anything that harbors bacteria or if you get wounded while in a contaminated area, your wound needs to be thoroughly flushed and closed properly. You may also need a tetanus shot or antibiotics. 

Gaping Wound

If the bleeding has stopped and your cut stays closed on its own, you probably don't need stitches. However, if it continues to gape open or if it continues to bleed after 15 minutes of pressure, you may need stitches. Wounds located on the knee, elbow, or hand are especially prone to gaping open because of the movement that occurs in these areas. If your wound is on a joint, you may want to consider stitches even if the bleeding has stopped. 

Deep Wound

If you can see fat or what appears to be yellow tissue, you need stitches. If the wound appears to be deeper than about 1/4 of an inch, you need stitches. Also, deep wounds in strategic areas, such as the hands, may involve muscle, bone, or joints. Always seek treatment for deep wounds that are in areas where you have a lot going on anatomy-wise. 

Sensitive Wound

If you get cut in a sensitive area or an area where you're afraid a scar will alter your appearance, go get stitches. Having even small cuts stitched up can minimize scarring. Always consider stitches for cuts involving the face and lips due to cosmetic reasons. Cuts that occur where the skin is very thin, such as the eyelids, may also need stitches. 

As you can see, there are several times you should seek medical attention after a laceration. If you're not sure if yours needs stitches, err on the side of caution and go to the doctor. 

For an urgent care clinic, contact a company such as Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc.