With the weather so nice, everyone is spending time outside. Its no surprise that with outdoor activities, camp and sports, injuries such as  broken bones, and sprains are occurring. At  AFC  AFC Urgent Care Bronx we also see many people coming in for stitches and asking how to know if they need stitches.

Often times stitches are needed for lacerations, punctures, and incisions, but not all the time. It all depends on the depth, width and location of these types of wounds.

Types of Wounds:

Lacerations: simple breaks in the skin (cuts)
Punctures: very similar to lacerations except for the fact that lacerations break through the skin while punctures go in and come back of of the skin.
Incisions: wound made from a scalpel. Wound has smooth edges.

When patients call, we also like to inform them of the basic and immediate steps they can take directly following a bad cut. We stress the importance of keeping your cut clean. Keeping the wound clean not only stops infection but reduces scarring and can help speed healing. The skin is the body’s protection to bacteria and infection so, again, very important to keep it clean.

How to Know if You Need Stitches:

If an injury stops bleeding after just a few moments, it is a mild wound and most likely stitches won’t be needed.

It is important to determine if your wound needs to be closed by a doctor quickly, and we strongly urge you to be seen by your doctor or to come in to our urgent care center if there is any question about whether you need stitches. The longer the wound remains open the higher the risk of infection.

*Tip: Most wounds that require closure should be stitched, stapled, or closed with skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches) within 6 to 8 hours after the injury.

When applying stitches we will numb the patients skin and perform the suture. After the process is complete, we will send you home with care instructions  and ask that you  come back and see us in a week. At the follow up visit, we remove the stitches and check for any sign of infection to the skin.

We encourage patients to stop by with any concerns they may have because it is better to get help as soon as possible rather than putting it off. If too much time goes by after a cut, it may not be be possible to perform stitches to the wound.

We are open long and convenient hours to suit your needs. If you have time, check in online!

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