Most contaminated wounds that are going to become infected do so 24 to 72 hours after the initial injury. Keep in mind that a 2 to 3 mm rim of pinkness or redness confined to the edge of a wound can be normal, especially if the wound is sutured. However, the area of redness should not spread. Pain and tenderness also normally occur, but the pain and swelling should decrease after the second day.
Do not wash the area for 24 hours. Then begin gently washing it with warm water and liquid soap 1 or 2 times each day. Apply an antibiotic ointment afterward to keep a thick scab from forming over the sutures. Swimming and baths are safe after 48 hours.
|Area||Number of Days|
|Face||3 – 4|
|Chest or abdomen, Arms,back of hands||7|
|Legs or top of feet/Back||10|
|Palms or soles||14|
Have your child’s stitches removed on the correct day to avoid unnecessary scarring. If any sutures come out too early, call our office and reinforce the wound with tape or butterfly Band-Aids.
If your child needs sutures, he will develop a scar, since wounds heal by scarring. To minimize the scar, have the sutures removed promptly, avoid infection, and prevent reinjury. Sun protection for 1 full year will help minimize any scarring. Remember that the scar does not assume its final appearance for 6 to 12 months.
Call our Office IMMEDIATELY if . . .
- An unexplained fever occurs (over 100°F).
- A red streak or red area spreads from the wound.
Call our office within 24 hours if . . .
The wound looks infected (pus or a pimple).
The wound becomes more painful after the second day.
A stitch comes out early.