How to Know if a Cut Needs Stitches

A little girl getting a cut on her knee cleaned up at a doctor's officeGetting a bad cut is annoying at best and extremely painful at worst. And while we’ve all gotten cuts before, not all of us have had to get stitches. This poses the question: How do you know if a cut needs stitches? At PhysicianOne Urgent Care, we’ve seen our fair share of cuts and scrapes, and we’re happy to break down some tell-tale signs that a cut needs to get stitched up.

Signs That a Cut Needs Stitches

If your wound meets any of the following criteria, it may need stitches or other medical treatment:

  • The cut is deep – If your cut is deeper than a quarter of an inch, it may be too deep to heal properly without stitches.
  • Deep body structures are visible – If fat, bone, or muscle are visible due to the wound, you will probably need stitches.
  • Pressure doesn’t help – If you put pressure on the wound for 15 minutes and it still continues to bleed, you may need stitches.
  • Cosmetic concerns – If your cut is on your face and you’re concerned about scarring, stitches can help.
  • The cut is over a joint – If the cut is over a joint and the edges open when you move the joint, there’s a good chance you’ll need stitches.
  • The cut was made by a dirty object – If the cut was made by a dirty or rusty object, you may need stitches and additional medical attention to prevent an infection.

Signs Stitches May Not Be Necessary

Some promising signs you won’t need stitches include:

  • The wound is shallow – If it appears to be a surface cut, odds are it will heal on its own.
  • The cut is smooth – If the cut has smooth edges that stay together as you move, you probably won’t need stitches.
  • It is a puncture wound – Puncture wounds are usually smaller in size and are less likely to scar. Additionally, they are more difficult to clean, so stitching them up may risk sealing in an infection.

PhysicianOne Urgent Care Can Help Determine Whether Stitches Are Necessary

If you have a cut and aren’t sure if it needs stitches or not, turn to the expert medical team at PhysicianOne Urgent Care. We’re open 365 days per year at flexible hours, so you can come in when it’s convenient for you. Best of all, no appointment is necessary. Simply walk into any of our local urgent care centers and we’ll be able to give you the quick and effective treatment you need. Our top-notch medical professionals will take a look at your cut and determine whether stitches are necessary. If they are, we can perform the procedure right at our center, so you can get back home and get back to healing in no time. We even offer a 24/7 telemedicine service if you want to speak with one of our professionals from the comfort of your own home. For more information or to schedule a Virtual Visit, contact us today at 860-650-3848.

Health News + Events

Heat Stroke vs. Heat Exhaustion: What Are the Differences?

In the summertime, the weather isn’t always so fine—sometimes, specific health concerns might just keep you from enjoying all the fun in the sun. Two conditions to look out for  Read More

What Are Summer Cold Symptoms?

Colds are commonly profiled as wintertime illnesses that strike during freezing, miserable temperatures. For instance, a parent or grandparent may have once told you to put on a ja  Read More

How Can I Tell if I Have a Sinus Infection or Allergies?

Are you experiencing a runny nose, congestion, a headache, and sinus pressure? Before you can start treating your condition, you’ll need to determine exactly what’s causing you  Read More

What Our Patients Are Saying

Rating 4.6
Rating 4.2
Rating 4.6
Rating 5.0

"The overall care I received was excellent! I also appreciate your affiliation with Yale New Haven Hospital."

Patient
Derby, CT

"Throughout the visit I felt like the staff really cared. The Doctor took his time talking with me about my symptoms, and I felt like he listened to all my concerns and took that into consideration when recommending the right treatment. Thank you!"

Patient
Hamden, CT

"I had to take my son in for an ear infection following a sudden change in temperament at daycare. He was inconsolable the entire car ride but when we got there and by the time we left this care facility he was back to his normal happy go lucky little two year old boy. I highly recommend PhysicianOne Urgent Care."

Patient
Westwood, MA

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the attention you gave me last week. My son was started on antibiotics and ear drops. Within 24 hours he began to feel better. The poor kid had been going to school in tears because he was afraid of missing any more days, but feeling (and looking) just awful! He's not been able to even think about lacrosse practice, but thanks to starting him on antibiotics, he was thrilled to return to practice today."

Patient
Somers, NY