What are sutures?
Sutures (also known as stitches) are sterile threads that are used after Dermatological surgeries to hold the skin together. This allows for the skin to heal properly and helps prevent the development of an infection.
Often times, sutures are non- dissolvable and therefore require removal after a set number of days. Suture removal can be done at home by yourself or with assistance from a friend or family member.
How do I remove my sutures?
- After your procedure, our office will supply you with a suture removal kit. This kit includes a pair of sterile scissors and tweezers.
- Allow the sutures to stay in place for ___ days.
- After you have allowed the skin to heal for the recommended amount of time, you can now remove your sutures.
- First, make sure you are able to reach and visualize your wound easily. Do not attempt to remove sutures if they are in an area that is difficult to access. Instead, have a trusted friend or family member assist or call our office.
- Thoroughly clean the area with soap and water to remove any blood or crusting from the site. Pat to dry.
- Open your suture removal packet.
- Place the tweezers in your dominant hand. With the tweezers grab the knot of your suture. Pull the knot away from the skin, this will create a space between the thread and skin that is easily accessed by your scissors.
- Place your scissors in your non- dominant hand. With the scissors, cut on the left or right side of the suture knot. You will only need make a single cut.
- After you have cut the thread, gently pull the thread up and away from the skin with the tweezers.
- Once you have removed all of your sutures, look carefully at the site to make sure there are no threads left behind.
- Clean your wound once more with soap and water, pat dry with a clean towel, apply a thin layer of petrolatum (ex. Vaseline, Aquaphor), and apply a bandage. Continue daily bandage changes until the site is fully healed.
Note: If you are unsure of whether your area looks healed, are concerned your site may have an infection, or if you are uncomfortable removing your own sutures, please contact our office for a free wound care visit and suture removal.
If you are ever unsure about the status of your wound or the suture removal process, please contact our office at 303-604-1444 for a free wound check or suture removal.
More of a visual learner? Watch this detailed suture removal video: