How to remove stitches

Accidents can happen quickly. A blocked jogging speed module, a sharp knife laying around taken without care to open it and bam! A nice cut on the finger… I was reluctant to go to the pharmacy but Leeloo convince me and the girl say that she could not do anything for me, I should go to the hospital, likely two stitches needed. The guess was correct, two stitches and an order to get them removed by a doctor.

But do we really need to go to see a doctor to get only two stitches on a finger removed? Official answer is yes, any bad handling could lead to dangerous infections and only a professional knows how to do things right.

However the common sense would tend to help reducing the social security debt and do it yourself. But be very careful, this simple task could really lead to very bad infections and very dramatic consequences, so know what we are talking about.


By the way, for the bad-ass wanabe like me, the doctor at the clinic insisted on the absolute necessity to see a doctor for any wound on the hand. What I understood from that is the need of a very clean and extensive disinfection of any wound, even benign.

The very basic of any work to remove stitches is : everything need to be perfectly clean. This includes your wound, your hands, your tools, the place where you are putting the tools, the clothe you are using to dry your hands, etc.  In other words, you must be absolutely certain to keep the whole chain completely safe and clean, and this is most of the time impossible at home, hence the need of a medical centre and a professional. Don’t do it in your kitchen! Kitchen is by far the most bacteria infected place in your home, far ahead of your toilets!

Use antiseptic such as Betadine to clean up your wound. Do not hesitate to put a lot of it, and do not use cotton to clean, and do not clean the wound itself. Use a sterile compress and do not go over your wound, especially if it is clean. If your wound is dirty, but this should not happen as it is supposed to be protected by a band-aid, clean from the centre to the outer in rounds and never come back to the centre, that would bring back all the bacteria!

To prevent any infection is the main challenge, because to remove the string by itself is quite straightforward. With a nail clippers and a tweezers, a few second are needed to get the stitches out. First cut the string with the nail clipper, be sure that you can take the knot with the tweezers, and of course do not pull the know inside the wound!

Once cut, pull with the tweezers and take all the string out from the wound. Use antiseptic after every move, then put a new band-aid for one day or two, and voilà!

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