You should not remove your own stitches. He or she will remove stitches that don’t disappear into your skin on their own. Those types of stitches are usually removed 3 days to 3 weeks after surgery.
It’s normal for the area to look swollen and even a bit crusty after surgery, and it may take as long as 6 months for the belly button to heal.
Can I cut the end of my stitches?
Do not trim or shorten the ends of your stitches. If they rub on your clothing, put a gauze bandage between the stitches and your clothes. Clean the area as directed. Carefully wash your wound with soap and water.
Why do I have to put Vaseline on my stitches?
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends petroleum jelly for keeping a wound moist and to help prevent it from drying out and forming a scab, because they take longer to heal. This will also help prevent a scar from getting too large, deep or itchy.
Is it better to keep stitches covered or uncovered?
A: Airing out most wounds isn’t beneficial because wounds need moisture to heal. Leaving a wound uncovered may dry out new surface cells, which can increase pain or slow the healing process. Most wound treatments or coverings promote a moist — but not overly wet — wound surface.
Can I take my stitches out myself?
In general, removing your own stitches isn’t a good idea. When doctors remove stitches, they’re looking for signs of infection, proper healing, and wound closure. If you try to remove your stitches at home, your doctor won’t be able to conduct their final follow-up.
What happens if skin grows over stitches?
If left in too long, your skin may grow around and over the stitches. Then a doctor would need to dig out the stitches, which sounds horrible. That can lead to infections, which, again, not good.
How do you know when your stitches are ready to come out?
In general, the greater the tension across a wound, the longer the sutures should remain in place. As a guide, on the face, sutures should be removed in 5-7 days; on the neck, 7 days; on the scalp, 10 days; on the trunk and upper extremities, 10-14 days; and on the lower extremities, 14-21 days.
Call your provider if your surgical wound has any signs of infection:
- Pus or drainage.
- Bad smell coming from the wound.
- Fever, chills.
- Hot to touch.
- Pain or sore to touch.
Don’t be surprised if you notice an onset of thick yellow drainage from your incision or umbilicus between 10-20 days after your surgery. This represents liquified fat cell-NOT puss. This is NOT unusual. If this occurs, cover the area with dry gauze until the drainage stops.
Umbilical/Belly Button Care
When it is removed, apply Polysporin (Neosporin) ointment to the incision around the umbilicus/belly button. This can be done 2 times per day for 2 days only. Continuing longer than 2 days may result in skin irritation.
What ointment is good for stitches?
Apply a thin layer of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) or Aquaphor ointment. We do not recommend Neosporin or certain antibiotic ointments, because in most cases it is unnecessary and may result in an allergic reaction.
How can I make my stitches heal faster?
After the first 24 to 48 hours, wash around the cut with clean water 2 times a day. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing. You may cover the cut with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a non-stick bandage. Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.
Can I shower with stitches?
After 48 hours, surgical wounds can get wet without increasing the risk of infection. After this time, you can get your stitches wet briefly with a light spray (such as in the shower), but they should not be soaked (for example, in the bath). Make sure you pat the area dry afterwards.