Most of us, at some point in our lives, will experience life with stitches. Maybe they were a result of that fall you took when you were young and adventurous. Or maybe a recent surgery had to be stitched up to fully heal. Either way you probably understand how aggravating it can be to live with your skin sewed together. However, you put up with it because you know those pesky little sutures are helping your skin heal. Eventually they will come out. The unfortunate side effect is that many times they leave behind a totally unwelcome scar. Just when you think your skin is going to be fully healed and beautiful again you are left with a constant reminder of what was. Scarring after stitches is a large problem in patients that undergo surgery or have a traumatic injury requiring stitches. What do you do to get rid of these unwanted scars? Here are some easy steps you can take to help minimize the appearance of your scars caused by stitches.
What to do before your stitches come out to prevent a scar?
- Make sure the wound is always clean. Gently wash the area with water. Never use harsh soaps, iodine, hydrogen peroxide or any product with alcohol.
- Always keep your wound covered. This will help keep out germs and other irritants.
- Do not touch the stitches unless you are cleaning it, and even so, be as gentle as possible.
- Apply antibiotics to the stitched area to facilitate growth of new skin.
Everyone’s skin heals in different ways. Even if you take all the precautions you can think of, a scar may still form after your stitches come out. That’s not the end of the world. There are ways to reduce a scar after it has already formed.
What to do after your stitches come out to get rid of a scar?
- Scar creams and gels are effective and super easy to use methods for treating scars caused by surgery and traumatic injuries. You apply them straight over your scar a few times a day to help encourage the healing process. Sometimes gels and creams vary in their applications, so be sure to choose one appropriate for your scar type.
- Silicone sheets are also a great way to manage the appearance of scars post-stitches. In fact, the International Advisory Panel on Scar Management identifies silicone sheeting as the gold standard for treating surgical and traumatic scars. This method is especially effective on more severe scars such as keloid and hypertrophic scars. They also come in varying sizes specific to your surgery type or the size of your scar.
- Perhaps the best way to manage your scar after stitches is to employ a combination therapy with a couple of methods. This increases the amount of time you can spend treating your scar during the day. Alternating between methods allows for around the clock scar management. Rejûvaskin® offers a kit that combines three scar management products in a convenient three step system.
No matter what happens after your stitches just remember that skin is always attempting to heal itself. However if you are left with a scar after stitches, there are several ways you can take steps to get rid of it.