Some accidents are simply unavoidable, and this is certainly true when it comes to lacerating the skin. Lacerations can be deep, and you may need stitches in some situations to treat the cut. Stitches help to keep the wound closed so it can heal, and they also prevent infections. It can sometimes be hard to understand whether you need stitches or not after a cut, and it is best for your physician or emergency care doctor to determine this. However, there are some signs that you probably are going to need stitches.

The Cut Is Deep

Deep is a relative term, but there are certain things that you may notice when it comes to deep lacerations that require stitches. Specifically, you may see the dermis or the fatty tissue later underneath the dermis. The skin is made up of three layers of tissue with the outermost epidermis sitting on top. This layer of skin varies in thickness, but is about 1.5 millimeters at its thickest point. Underneath the epidermis is the dermis, which is 1.5 to 4 millimeters thick. Under this layer sits the subcutis fat layer. 

If you cut through the epidermis to expose either the dermis or the subcutis layers, then the cut is deep and likely needs stitches. It can be difficult to tell if your cut extends through the entire epidermis, but you can typically tell if you reach the subcutis layer of the skin, since this tissue does have a yellow tint to it.

If the cut is extremely deep, then it may reach through the subcutis layer to the muscle layer of tissue. In this situation, bleeding is likely to be uncontrollable, so you may want to go to the emergency room instead of your local urgent care center.

Your Cut Is On The Face

Certain areas of the body are considered cosmetically significant areas, like the face. If you happen to cut the skin on your face, then the wound may not be considered in terms of depth or other factors. Instead, stitches may be placed to retain the cosmetic appearance of the body. Basically, if a cut is on the face or in a highly visible area, then seek out care for stitches.

Stitches help to reduce the amount of scar tissue that forms to close off the wound area. Scar tissue is thicker, more coarse, and lighter than the natural tissue, and the scar tissue will form wherever there is a gap between the skin. Since gaps are closed with the assistance of stitches, far less scar tissue develops. 

For more information, contact a center such as Meadowbrook Urgent Care.