5 Signs Your Wound Needs Stitches

You’ve got a pretty nasty cut, but how bad is it really? Can you just clean it up and slap on a bandage or is it severe enough that you need medical help? Open wounds are the ultimate “on the fence” medical issue and you may not realize how serious a gash is until it becomes infected. So, before you jump in the car and head to an urgent care facility or try to take care of the problem on your own, here are a few ways to tell if your cut needs stitches.

urgent care facility

  1. Depth 
    How deep is your wound? If it’s just a shallow cut in the skin, it should heal fairly quickly on its own without any complications. However, if the abrasion is more than one-quarter of an inch deep, you will likely need stitches.

  2. Appearance 
    This one should be fairly obvious. If you look into the wound and can see bone, tendons, or deep skin tissue, you must get immediate medical attention at an urgent care facility.

  3. Size 
    How big is the abrasion? Any cut longer than one inch should at least be examined by a medical professional.

  4. Location 
    If the cut is located at a joint, immediate closure will be required for proper healing.

  5. Bleeding 
    Regardless of the other factors listed above, if the wound will not stop bleeding, you will need medical attention. Some cuts may look small but are more severe than you realize. If there is a lot of blood, you will probably need stitches.

In many cases, stitches are essential for proper healing. Deep cuts and abrasions are prone to infection and other complications, and the longer a wound stays open and vulnerable, the greater the risk of infection becomes. Stitches also help reduce the chance of developing scar tissue and speed up the overall healing process.

According to the Urgent Care Association of America, approximately three million patients visit urgent care facilities each week. There are a number of reasons to seek medical attention at urgent care, including treatment for cuts and abrasions.