Wounds treated with stitches

The wound has been cleaned and given stitches. It will take about 5-14 days for the wound to heal.

About your visit

Your wound has been cleaned and we have put in stitches. The wound normally heals within 5-14 days depending on where on the body it is located. You may remove the bandage or plaster after 1-2 days, unless you have been advised otherwise.

The stitches should be removed in ___ days by your general practitioner. You will need to book the appointment yourself.

When you get home

Contact your general practitioner at signs of infection

Keep an eye out for signs of infection until the wound has healed. Contact your general practitioner or dial 1813 to reach the medical helpline outside your general practitioner’s opening hours if you experience one or several of the following symptoms:

  • Redness, warmth or swelling at the site of the wound.
  • Throbbing or pulsing pains.
  • Red stripes extending from the site of the wound.
  • Wet or foul-smelling bandage.
  • Fever.

Keep the bandage clean and dry

You should keep the bandage clean and dry. Avoid touching the bandage for the first two days. The risk of infection increases if the bandage gets wet. Change the bandage if it gets wet.

Keep the wound clean

Keep your wound clean. Dirt and debris can cause infection when the stitches are still in. You can cover the wound with a plaster after the first 24 hours.

Children should wear a plaster until the stitches are removed.

Only take showers

You may take showers, but to reduce the risk of infection, avoid baths, swimming pools and swimming in the sea until the stitches have been removed. Carefully dab the wound with a clean towel or washcloth when drying, and let the skin air dry for at bit before putting on clothes.

Move carefully

We recommend that you move carefully for the first few days, to avoid re-opening the wound.

Do not scratch the wound

Avoid scratching your wound if it is itchy. Cover the wound with a bandage if necessary. The risk of infection is reduced if you let the scab fall off by itself.

Avoid handling food if the wound is on your hand

If the wound is on your hand and you handle food at work, you should talk to your employer. You should either agree that you do not handle food until the wound has healed or that you wear gloves at work.

Do not use cream or ointment on the wound

Avoid using cream or ointment directly on the wound while the stitches are in.

Take pain-relieving medicine if you are in pain

You should take pain-relieving medicine if you are in pain. Pain-relieving medicine can be bought over the counter. Take only the amount of pain reliever recommended on the package. Contact your general practitioner if you need help managing the pain.  

Practical precautions

Tetanus vaccination

If you have not been vaccinated against tetanus within the past ten years, contact your general practitioner as soon as possible for an appointment.

If you received a tetanus vaccination at the hospital, it is normal for the skin around the area to become red, swollen or tender. This will pass after about a week.

Avoid nicotine

We recommend that you abstain from nicotine until your wounds have healed. Nicotine is found in cigarettes, nicotine gum and nicotine patches. It impairs the healing of wounds.

Avoid direct sunlight

You should avoid getting direct sunlight on the wound as long as the skin is red. The skin usually remains red for six months to a year. During this period, the skin is especially at risk of sunburn and may darken. The dark colour will not disappear. We recommend using a sunscreen with a high SPF or wearing clothes that cover your scar.

Worth knowing

Your personal data

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