Do you need sutures for every cut? Of course not! Some gashes especially those under 2 cm or a little less than an inch usually don’t need anything except some soap water and a bandage. Of course if you see some funny things underneath which could be anything from a tendon, nerve or bone to a pebble, then you might need to see us. Ditto if you have diabetes, are on chemotherapy or are in general poor health.

What about cuts on the face? Stitches will put these together nicely, but since stitches are a foreign body ie nylon for example, the risk of scars and infection are often greater. In fact, stitches can at times leave scars which look like railroad tracks.

Sometimes a wound can be closed just with tissue adhesive, similar to SuperGlue(but don’t ever use Superglue as it is toxic to healing skin). The glue works well but is not as strong as stitches and cannot be used in areas with a lot of tension such as over joints. Also, if you have a cut inside your mouth adsorbable sutures rather than a glue product should be tried.

Whatever you do make sure the wound sutured or not stays clean and dry. Be sure to have the stitches if placed removed when the doctor says so. If you leave stitches in too long, infection and scars will result. If you develop redness, pain and swelling, you might be suffering from an infection and would need antibiotics. For certain wounds in certain areas antibiotics are prescribed right off the bat, but for most cuts antibiotics are not needed.

Bottom line is that not all wounds need stitches or even glue.