How Important Is a Stitch or Two?

Updated on January 23, 2012
J.B. asks from Marrero, LA
15 answers

Today was my middle son's 2 yr bday party. He went running into his brother's room and somehow bust his face on my oldest's bed. He came out and I saw a small but fairly deep cut under his eye, like at the top of his cheek bone. It was bleeding but not gushing, but it was kind of deep and had some bruising developing around it. We went and got butterfly bandages, but they just didn't work on that area. So we ended up putting on some triple antibiotic ointment and a small bandage. I noticed after the family left that the bandaid was soaked, no blood oozing out, but the little pad was soaked red. I put another bandage on and before bed it was soaked too, just the little square in the center of the bandaid. But when you remove the bandaid there is no blood flowing so it's weird. Anyway, if it did need a stitch and didn't get it, how bad is that? I am worried about it bleeding too much but also don't want to sit in an urgent care over a very small cut. Any thoughts?

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answers from Dallas on

I'd be at Carenow. My DD is 4 and has had stitches twice. One for 4 stitches and once for 5. So glad that now her scars are very minimal.

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answers from Austin on

It isn't really the "bleeding too much" that is a problem, especially on the face, it is the potential for scarring. Is it gaping apart, or does it stay closed? That would be what I would look at, too, with it being so deep.

One thing they can do, especially on the face, is the surgical glue.... that will lessen the scarring. It also doesn't have to be removed, like stitches do..... they just wear off after a few days. (It is basically super glue.)

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You only have a 6 hour window to get stitches unless it is a major split. Just keep an eye on it. Let it air at night so it can heal. He may have a scar but will be fine.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

You should take him to at least see if it needs something done and the sooner the better for fixing that sort of thing. It's not that major of a deal these days and will end up looking much better without a scar. It's how deep and the area under it being exposed more than blood coming out that is the problem.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Just take him to the Doctor.
The "cut" can always open up again, too.
Then what?
Especially if it is a deep cut.
And watch for infection. Since it is a deep cut.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

if you want your baby to have a scar... don't get stitches, you may have waited too long to remedy the issue anyways.

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answers from Houston on

The stitching usually makes the scarring minimal. Something similar happened to my oldest daughter when she was about the same age. After it had started healing the doctor told me that if I was worried about the scar they could reopen it then stitch it. If you are still worried call your family doctor and ask their advice. Face and head wounds almost always bleed/ooze more than any other wound. If it starts looking angry red around the wound then seek medical attention immediately. I have no medical training but have raised 2 daughters. It is always good to ask other people's opinions, but if ever you are still unsure ask a doctor or nurse. I hope that I was able to help even a little

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answers from Dallas on

on the face, stitches are very important because of the scarring issue, you don't want a fat/ugly scar on the face! with facial injuries, i always err on the side of caution and at least let the physician decide if stitches would be beneficial. if it's a wound on the leg or hand or something, it's more a matter of can i stop the bleeding and is it closed enough to be unlikely to get infected. i'd get him checked out asap so the stitches can be done if they deem them beneficial. with or without the stitches, once the would is completely scabbed over, start applying mederma, it will really help with the appearance of the scar :)

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answers from Washington DC on

if you wait too long - they won't be able to stitch it up properly.

Since it is not gushing blood, it sounds like it's healing on its own. On the face and under the eye, they would most likely use the glue if it's not too deep. If it's deep, they would need stitches. If he is soaking a bandaid in say 15 to 30 minutes, I would take him in. Most urgent cares don't let bleeding patients wait too long.


answers from Chicago on

Safe than sorry, I would go get stitches ... they help the healing process and hey what a bday present for a boy! This is a GREAT story to tell when he is older!


answers from Dover on

If it is deep, you should probably seek medical attention. Head wounds do tend to bleed more than others but on the face, you want to be sure it heals properly.



answers from Chicago on

Stitches help cuts heal faster by healing from the outside in verses the inside out. My husband sliced his thumb deep, but no insurance at the time. Not alot of blood, so we just kept taping it up till it healed.



answers from Oklahoma City on

A butterfly is usually enough for small cuts, they are made much better nowadays. If the ER doc thought it was enough but you don't think it is then call your doc's service and ask them what to do. You certainly don't want a huge scar on the child's face.


answers from Los Angeles on

My guy was younger than your son when he fell off his new chair directly onto tile, and required stitches in his forehead. The ER doctor said it would keep it closed so less scarring, and at his follow-up exam with his pediatrician she reassured me that the scar will fade in time and it already is.

Since you said the cut appears deep I would take him in and let a doctor check it, remember, after so many hours they won't stitch it up.



answers from Utica on

Well I am beyond petrified of stitches and have had the need for them a few times in my life but I was told once that if you wait more than 24 hrs the healing process has started too much for them to stitch. So I stupidly always wait because I am too darn scared. From what I was told you have a much greater chance at a much more noticable scar from not getting the stitches and if the cut is really bad or in a bad spot that you obviously have a greater chance of infection because the cut isnt closed over properly
Good Luck

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