Stitches are primarily used if the cut is more that a quarter inch deep, is on the face, or reaches bone. Stitches help hold the wound together so it can heal properly. Stitches are removed between 3 to 14 days after they are put depending upon which area of the body was injured. Stitches on the face can be removed within 3 to 5 days but areas of high stress such as hands, elbows, and knees must stay in 10 to 14 days.
Reviewed By: Jesse Borke, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Attending Physician at FDR Medical Services/Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Buffalo, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.