Once you get home, if you have a newly sutured wound on an arm or a leg, you should try to keep the injured area elevated above the level of your heart during much of the first day of your recovery. This will make it less likely that the wound will swell, so it can heal more easily. You also should make sure that the bandage stays clean and dry, especially for the first 24 to 48 hours.
For lacerations on most parts of the body, stitches can be removed in about seven days. For lacerations on your face, stitches can be removed earlier (in three to five days). Early removal can help to minimize the scar. For lacerations over a joint, your doctor may recommend leaving stitches in place for as long as 14 days, because it requires a longer time for a wound to heal strongly enough to withstand the repeated pulling and stretching that skin endures when it is near to a joint.
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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.
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