How to Remove Stitches

It is advised that you get your sutures removed by a doctor or other qualified medical practitioner; nevertheless, it may not always be possible for you to comply with this recommendation. It’s possible that you’ll be able to take out the smaller stitches on your own. It is possible that you should remove them after the necessary amount of time has passed for the wound to heal and it looks to have totally healed. You just need some tweezers and scissors to get the job done!

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Wound Cleaning and Preparation

1. Before you remove your sutures, you need to ensure that you have sufficiently healed. In some circumstances, you should never, ever attempt to remove your own sutures. If your sutures were placed during a surgical treatment or if the appropriate period for healing hasn’t passed (typically 10-14 days), removing them on your own puts you at an increased risk for infection and may hinder your body from mending as it should. Before your sutures can be removed, your skin will need to have fully healed and grown back together.

  • It is important to keep in mind that following the removal of stitches at the doctor’s office, adhesive strips are often applied to the skin in order to continue promoting the body’s natural healing process. If you do the procedure at home, you run the risk of not receiving the necessary treatment.
  • Call your physician before attempting to remove your sutures so that you may get a second opinion on whether or not it is safe to do so. They will tell you whether or not it is safe for you to do the task on your own. On the other hand, they would most likely advise you to come into the clinic so that they may remove your sutures.
  • Do not remove your sutures until you have spoken with your doctor if the incision seems to be becoming red or becoming more painful. It’s possible that you have an infection.
  • You should be aware that in many instances, you may have your sutures removed without having to go through the procedure of making a regular appointment with the doctor. It’s possible that you’ll be able to walk straight in for a speedy removal of your stitches. If a nurse examines your incision and determines that it has healed, she will most likely be able to remove the sutures. Make the call to your physician and inquire.

2. Pick a device to use in order to cut your stitches. You’re going to need a pair of very fine-tipped scissors in order to cut out your stitches. If at all feasible, use a set of surgical shears that are very sharp. It’s also possible to use nail scissors that are quite sharp. Avoid using anything with a blunt edge, and don’t use a knife since it’s very simple for knives to slide out of your hand.

3. Put your set of tweezers and scissors into the pot of hot water to sanitize them. Place the tools in a vessel that is already filled with boiling water, cover the vessel, and allow them to boil for at least twenty minutes. [3] Remove them carefully, then place them on a clean paper towel and allow them to dry completely before swabbing them well with a cotton ball that has been soaked in rubbing alcohol. This will eliminate the risk of germs being introduced into your body by the scissors and tweezers.

  • If you want to avoid getting your hands burned or contaminating the equipment, you should remove them from the pot using chopsticks or tongs that have been sanitized.

4. Collect some bandages and antibacterial cream, please. There are a few more items that you need to have at your disposal. In the event that you need to treat an area that begins to bleed, be sure to get some sterile bandages and antibiotic ointment. If your skin has fully healed, you shouldn’t need these items since there is no longer a need for a bandage; nonetheless, it is crucial to keep them on hand just in case you do need to use them.

5. Please use some soap and water to properly clean your hands. First, you should thoroughly wash your hands before touching the wound. Take off any jewelry you may be wearing and wash your hands well with soap and warm water, being care to clean the palms, the backs, and the spaces in between your fingers on both hands. After you are finished, use a fresh paper towel to gently pat dry your hands.

  • You may also clean your hands using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if they do not seem to be noticeably unclean or oily before you begin cleaning them. After applying the hand sanitizer and massaging it into all of the surfaces of your hands and fingers for at least 20 to 30 seconds, you should then allow your hands to dry naturally.

6. Cleanse the area around the stitch with soap and water, and then disinfect it with alcohol. First, the area should be wet with warm water, and then soap should be applied. The soap should be removed using warm water, and the wound should be dried using a clean towel. To clean the area surrounding the sutures, dab rubbing alcohol that has been soaked into a cotton ball. Before moving on, make sure the area has been thoroughly cleaned.

  • A potential infection may be avoided by thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the area. Additionally, it will assist in the removal of any crusted fluids or dried blood that may have formed around the area, and it will make it simpler to remove the sutures.

Safe Removal

1. Take a seat in an area that has plenty of light. In order to do the task successfully, you will need to have a good view of each stitch. If the area you are in is not well lit, you should not try to remove your sutures there since you run the risk of cutting yourself. 

  • If there isn’t enough natural light where you are, go closer to a lamp that gives out a lot of light so that you can see what you’re doing.

2. Untie the first of the knots. Employing the pair of tweezers, carefully raise the knot of the first stitch so that it is just slightly above the skin. Since you will be cutting the stitch with the scissors that are held in your dominant hand, you should keep the tweezers in the hand that is not your dominant hand.

3. Use the scissors to cut through the suture. While holding the knot above your skin with one hand, put one of the scissors beneath the knot with the other hand. Cut the suture next to the knot, cutting it as near to the skin as you can get.

4. Draw the thread all the way through. Continue to grip the knot with the tweezers, and then slowly and carefully remove the thread through your skin and out of your body. Place the removed stitch on a piece of gauze or a piece of paper towel and set it aside. It is possible that you may feel some pressure when removing the stitch, but the process should not be uncomfortable.

  • Do not attempt to rip the knot through your skin by pulling on it. It will irritate your skin and cause you to bleed if you do not remove it immediately. To prevent this from happening, use the tweezers to get hold of the knot itself as you take out the stitch.
  • If you remove a stitch and the skin begins to bleed, the stitches are not ready to be removed yet. Put an end to what you’re doing and go to the doctor so the remaining sutures may be removed.

5. Proceed with the process of removing the sutures. First, using the tweezers, lift the knots, and then using the scissors, cut them. After pulling it through, place the thread to the side. Proceed with the removal of the stitches until there are none left.

6. Use a wipe or little soap and water to clean the wound, if necessary. Check the area surrounding the wound to be sure there are no traces of anything left behind. To sterilize it carefully, wash it off with an antiseptic wipe or clean it with soap and warm water. You have the option of applying a sterile bandage to the affected region and allowing it to continue to heal while doing so.

  • To lessen the likelihood that the wound will scar, apply a mild moisturizer such as petroleum jelly or Vaseline to the area where it was injured.


1. If you have any issues, you should see a physician. If your incision has not completely healed or if you have further splitting of the skin, you will need more sutures. In the event that this occurs, it is imperative that you get medical attention as soon as possible. It won’t be enough to just cover up the incision with a bandage and hope that it heals without needing any further stitches.

2. It is important to rest as much as possible in order to prevent the wound from opening again. Skin gradually regains its strength over time. When the sutures in your skin are removed, the skin may still be fragile since it is still healing. Avoid putting unnecessary strain on the area of your body that was stitched.

  • For instance, you may be required to refrain from performing any heavy lifting until your physician gives you the all-clear to do so. This is because excessive strain may cause the wound to reopen.
  • If you are worried about the wound opening up again, place a number of Steri-Strips along the incision where the stitches used to be. This will help keep the wound closed. These will be of assistance in keeping the margins of the incision together as it heals.

3. Avoid getting any UV rays on the wound. Even healthy tissue may be damaged when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. If your wound will be exposed to the sun or if you will be using tanning beds, make sure to use a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 rating.

  • If you also cover the scar with protective clothing (such as long sleeves or pants) and try to spend as much time as you can in the shade, you will be able to protect the area even more effectively.

Can stitches stay in too long?

When stitches are left in the skin for an excessive amount of time, they can leave marks and even sometimes cause scarring. Delays also make it more difficult to remove the stitches after they have been placed.

How long should stitches stay in?

Taking off the sutures

The following are the typical time intervals: You have sutures on your head, and you’ll need to come back in between three and five days. If you had sutures over a joint — for example, your knees or elbows — you will need to come back after ten to fourteen days. If you received sutures on any other areas of your body, you will need to come back within seven to ten days.

Can skin grow over stitches?

If the sutures are left in for too long, the skin surrounding them and even over them may grow. It would then be necessary for the doctor to dig out the sutures, which is a horrifying prospect. This may result in infections, which, once again, is not a desirable outcome.

Is it painful to remove stitches?

The removal of sutures may feel like a gentle pulling feeling, but it should not cause you any discomfort at all. You won’t even need a local anesthetic for this procedure. Even while the procedure of removing stitches is not very challenging, you should not attempt to do it on your own.

What happens if a stitch is not removed?

It is possible for extra scarring to develop if the sutures are left in the skin for an excessively extended period of time. Sutures that aren’t absorbed by the body might also be used for interior wounds that need to heal over a protracted period of time. Non-absorbable sutures may either be permanent or progressively disintegrate over time, however this depends on the substance that was used to make the sutures.

What do infected stitches look like?

Redness or red streaks surrounding the region may be seen on the skin of a person who has infected sutures. lymph nodes that are localized to the vicinity of the sutures and are sensitive and swollen. when they touch the sutures or move the wounded region, they experience discomfort.

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