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View Full Version : what happens to a cut that needs stitches, but you don't get them?


twoodcc
Jul 11, 2009, 01:20 PM
i got bit by a dog on my thumb, and i think i needed stitches, but i didn't get them. almost a week later, and the cut doesn't seem to be closing very good. should i be worried?

r.j.s
Jul 11, 2009, 01:21 PM
It will scar badly, but the greater chance is that it will get infected. Keep it clean.

twoodcc
Jul 11, 2009, 01:24 PM
It will scar badly, but the greater chance is that it will get infected. Keep it clean.

thanks. i try to keep pouring peroxide on it, and change bandages frequently with neosporin on them

jknight8907
Jul 11, 2009, 01:35 PM
thanks. i try to keep pouring peroxide on it, and change bandages frequently with neosporin on them

Save the peroxide. Go with plain soap and water. Peroxide really isn't doing you any favors.

spaceboots06
Jul 11, 2009, 01:36 PM
When I was younger, my rottweiler jumped and managed to nick a piece of skin below my eye off. I apparently needed three stitches but never got them. Now it looks as if there is a small dent where the dog got me.

I ripped open my finger in a freak accident years ago and had to get 16 stitches; if i didn't get the I would have half of a pointer finger on my right hand.

AdamLikesMusic
Jul 11, 2009, 02:00 PM
In Mexico, I dove off a waterfall into 2 feet of water, and it split my chin right open. Definitely 100% needed stitches, but instead we put a butterfly bandage on it very tightly, and superglued the bandage on.

Now, 5 years later, you can't tell it was ever there. (I also have a beard, but even without it, there's really no scar)

LizKat
Jul 11, 2009, 02:06 PM
i got bit by a dog on my thumb, and i think i needed stitches, but i didn't get them. almost a week later, and the cut doesn't seem to be closing very good. should i be worried?

Hopefully you have verified that the dog's rabies vaccination is current.

waloshin
Jul 11, 2009, 02:06 PM
When I was younger, my rottweiler jumped and managed to nick a piece of skin below my eye off. I apparently needed three stitches but never got them. Now it looks as if there is a small dent where the dog got me.

I ripped open my finger in a freak accident years ago and had to get 16 stitches; if i didn't get the I would have half of a pointer finger on my right hand.

No offense , but thats why i hate Rottweiler's especially the untrained ones.

toolbox
Jul 11, 2009, 08:43 PM
You will get a scar when i sliced my finger open working on a computer one day the top half of the skin on my finger was just hanging i just like put it back on and bandaged it. now it's scared

eawmp1
Jul 11, 2009, 08:46 PM
Google "healing by secondary intention"

And STOP going to a computer forum for medical advice!!!

FDX
Jul 11, 2009, 09:00 PM
Should I get this looked at:

emt1
Jul 11, 2009, 09:02 PM
If you aren't positive that the dog has had its rabies shots, you need to get to a hospital NOW. If you get rabies, you will die.

EDIT: I see this happened a week ago... nevermind then...

If you have a wound that isn't healing, then you should be seen by a doctor, not the MacRumors forum.

twoodcc
Jul 11, 2009, 10:50 PM
thanks for the reply. attached is a quick pic of the cut today. sorry i know it's kinda blurry

Tomorrow
Jul 11, 2009, 10:57 PM
I was cutting an avocado. You know how when you split the avocado the seed comes out in one half, and you "chop" the knife into the seed to get the seed out?

Well, on this particular night, the knife went right through the seed, through the edge of the avocado, and through about half of my thumb, hitting the bone. It bled like I didn't think it would ever quit.

I ended up putting on one of those clear rubber bandages that look like a "second skin" and leaving it there for about two weeks. Why? Because I took it off after a week and it was still bleeding.

That was about eight years ago. The scar is still visible, and it took about two months for the nerves to grow back, but otherwise my thumb is just fine.

yojitani
Jul 11, 2009, 11:22 PM
It doesn't look too bad from the pic you posted. The best you can do is keep it clean an covered. I've unfortunately let two cuts that needed stitches go unstitched. The worst was one I got in March this year. It didn't look deep... it took about a month to fully heal and only recently has all the pain gone away.

benthewraith
Jul 12, 2009, 06:20 AM
i got bit by a dog on my thumb, and i think i needed stitches, but i didn't get them. almost a week later, and the cut doesn't seem to be closing very good. should i be worried?

That was incredibly stupid. Beyond the fact that you didn't get stitches, you can contract rabies.

eawmp1
Jul 12, 2009, 08:03 AM
If you aren't positive that the dog has had its rabies shots, you need to get to a hospital NOW. If you get rabies, you will die.

EDIT: I see this happened a week ago... nevermind then...

If you have a wound that isn't healing, then you should be seen by a doctor, not the MacRumors forum.

Uh, rabies can incubate for several YEARS.

Hmac
Jul 12, 2009, 08:06 AM
Save the peroxide. Go with plain soap and water. Peroxide really isn't doing you any favors.

Nor is the Neosporin.

A wound left open is less likely to get infected than a wound that's been closed, and if it's not infected a week later, it's not going to get infected. From the picture, I can see that it's not infected. Keep it wrapped with a bandaid. Keep it clean with soap and water. It will heal fine.

It runs across a joint...that's the reason it's buckling a little.

andalusia
Jul 12, 2009, 08:19 AM
Nor is the Neosporin.

A wound left open is less likely to get infected than a wound that's been closed, and if it's not infected a week later, it's not going to get infected. From the picture, I can see that it's not infected. Keep it wrapped with a bandaid. Keep it clean with soap and water. It will heal fine.

It runs across a joint...that's the reason it's buckling a little.

I don't mean anything by this, but what do you know about it? (Honest question, you a doc or something?)

Sun Baked
Jul 12, 2009, 08:48 AM
I don't mean anything by this, but what do you know about it? (Honest question, you a doc or something?)

More common sense from people that have gotten a lot of wounds in the past.

It is a dog bite, if it was infected from the bite, it would likely have been red and swollen after 1 week.

Still, doesn't mean that you cannot get an infection from not keeping the wound clean/treated or failing to cut away the dead skin from the skin flap as the wound heals.

Eraserhead
Jul 12, 2009, 09:34 AM
Uh, rabies can incubate for several YEARS.

If you think there is a possibility you have been bitten by a rabid animal you should go straight to the hospital.

twoodcc
Jul 12, 2009, 09:42 AM
thanks for the replies. i went to bed last night without a bandage (i forgot), and this morning there seems to be more blood around it.

abijnk
Jul 12, 2009, 09:59 AM
Am I correct in saying that it looks like you have a "flap" of skin going on there?

It will heal on its own eventually, but since it is in a place that you use a lot and gets bumped a lot it might take a bit longer than you would expect. A product I would suggest using is new-skin (http://www.newskinproducts.com/). Its great for things on places where bandaids don't really like to stay on well.

hexspeed
Jul 12, 2009, 10:20 AM
I'd be more worried about a Staph infection than rabies -- high-school athlete next town over had a cut about your size and has been in the hospital for months on IV antibiotics. So far, he's surgically lost both legs and a lot of muscle tissue in an attempt to stop the infection. GO SEE AN M.D.!!!

r.j.s
Jul 12, 2009, 10:33 AM
I'd be more worried about a Staph infection than rabies -- high-school athlete next town over had a cut about your size and has been in the hospital for months on IV antibiotics. So far, he's surgically lost both legs and a lot of muscle tissue in an attempt to stop the infection. GO SEE AN M.D.!!!

I've had Staph. It's bad, but that sounds more like it was the kind you get in a locker room - which is worse than everyday Staph (it lives on your skin), but not yet MRSA.

If it were Staph, you'd know by now.

Melrose
Jul 12, 2009, 11:05 AM
I had got a slice on the inside of my calf when I was a teenager, the cut was about 1.5" long and was deep (not horribly deep but could have had stitches had I gone to the doctor). It took a while but it healed up fine and I don't have a scar. Then again, I never scar...

It's a good idea to put peroxide in a cut at first to clean it, but once you've done that unless you get it dirty again it's almost pointless. You need things that will help healing.

Lavender oil is very good for that sort of thing but there are other generics you can pick up also. If it's open, you'll want to keep it covered for a while at first.

spaceboots06
Jul 12, 2009, 01:03 PM
No offense , but thats why i hate Rottweiler's especially the untrained ones.

Me too; mine was a fat, lovable female dog. It just happened to jump into my face for reasons I can't even remember why.

Hmac
Jul 13, 2009, 06:58 AM
I don't mean anything by this, but what do you know about it? (Honest question, you a doc or something?)Yes, I'm a surgeon.

pelicanflip
Jul 13, 2009, 02:03 PM
When I was in studio last year, I was working on my project with a utility blade. I slipped, and the blade slammed into my thumb pretty badly.

Went to the doctor, didn't get stitches, got a liquid bandage instead. Healed up pretty nicely.

Just use warm water and soap, and slap a bandage on it, maybe some gauze if u really need it. keep fresh bandages, and pretty soon, all shall be well.

Zombie Acorn
Jul 13, 2009, 03:29 PM
Doesn't look bad or deep enough to get stitches. Its going to take ~2-3 weeks to heal up at least though probably longer.

Angelus
Jul 13, 2009, 03:47 PM
I agree with Hmac.
It will have to heal by secondary intention as you don't have sutures.
Just keep it clean and if you notice that the digit is becoming very warm,tender or develops an extending rash go see a doctor to rule out cellulitis.
Other than that it will take time.
I still think you should have visited a doctor initially but that being said you may not have had stitches.

In my Emergency Department, we tend not to close animal lacerations to the hands and feet initially

conch575
Jul 13, 2009, 07:12 PM
You might get a gaping scar or even worse, an infection.

emt1
Jul 13, 2009, 10:44 PM
Uh, rabies can incubate for several YEARS.

You're right. OP needs to be seen by a doctor ASAP.

twoodcc
Jul 14, 2009, 09:09 PM
You might get a gaping scar or even worse, an infection.

yeah, i just hope i keep it clean enough so i don't get an infection

You're right. OP needs to be seen by a doctor ASAP.

the dog has had a rabies shot. just not sure exactly how long ago. but fairly recent (i took him myself)

Hmac
Jul 15, 2009, 06:48 AM
yeah, i just hope i keep it clean enough so i don't get an infection



the dog has had a rabies shot. just not sure exactly how long ago. but fairly recent (i took him myself)

You won't get an infection at this point. As to rabies :rolleyes: if your dog is doing fine at this point and shows no sign of rabies, you'll be fine.

juanm
Jul 15, 2009, 07:18 AM
I was cutting an avocado. You know how when you split the avocado the seed comes out in one half, and you "chop" the knife into the seed to get the seed out?

Well, on this particular night, the knife went right through the seed, through the edge of the avocado, and through about half of my thumb, hitting the bone. It bled like I didn't think it would ever quit.

I ended up putting on one of those clear rubber bandages that look like a "second skin" and leaving it there for about two weeks. Why? Because I took it off after a week and it was still bleeding.

That was about eight years ago. The scar is still visible, and it took about two months for the nerves to grow back, but otherwise my thumb is just fine.

My mother did pretty much the same thing, only the sharp knife slipped on the seed surface and went into her hand.
She went to hospital, and learnt the lesson: use a spoon, people!!!