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PARENTS' CORNER

Scars & booboos

Scars & booboos

Scars & Booboos

Children and stitches: no need to panic

Stitches, also known as sutures in medical terms, refer to the surgical procedure of closing a wound using threads. Threads can be made of many different materials, either natural or synthetic, which are chosen to minimize the chances of adverse reactions.
As well as classic stitches, some small wounds can be closed using “butterfly stitches” (small pieces of adhesive tape) or special glue, while large surgical wounds (apart from on the face) are often closed with staples.

Has the wound healed properly?

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In the days following an operation or procedure, your wound should look pink and it may well ooze clear fluid or small amounts of blood.
Contact your doctor if you notice any of the following:

  • Redness spreading from the wound site
  • Bleeding that won’t stop when applying pressure with a white gauze
  • Severe pain (worse than what your doctor told you to expect)
  • White or yellow pus oozing from the wound
  • Feeling feverish or generally unwell

Will the stitches leave scars?

Some stitches leave no marks, they will disappear on their own after a period of weeks (usually about 60 days) because they run entirely beneath the surface of the skin.
Traditional stitches that look like knots sewing the wound together can leave little white dots of scar tissue, especially if left in too long. So, make sure your doctor gives you clear instructions on when they need to be removed. The table below offers some guide timescales:

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SCALP
ADULTS
7-9 days
CHILDREN 6-8 days

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FACE AND NECK
ADULTS
4-6 days
CHILDREN 4-6 days

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CHEST, ABDOMEN, BACK
ADULTS
7-12 days
CHILDREN 7-9 days

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HANDS
ADULTS
8-10 days
CHILDREN 7-9 days

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LEG
ADULTS
8-12 days
CHILDREN 7-10 days

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FOOT
ADULTS
10-12 days
CHILDREN 8-10 days

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