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Wound Closure and Wound Care

(En español, presione aquí)

 What is wound closure?
 How can I take care of myself?

What is wound closure?

Wound closure is a procedure that your healthcare provider can do to hold the edges of a wound together. Most wounds heal more quickly, and with less risk of infection and scarring, when the wound is kept clean and the edges are held close together as it heals.

Cuts and punctures are wounds that go through several layers of skin and may go into the fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other tissues under the skin. A cut through your skin made by a healthcare provider when you have surgery is another type of wound that may need closure.

Wounds may be closed with skin glue, tape strips, stitches, or staples. Which method will be used depends on the wound. Small, superficial (not deep) wounds can often easily be closed with glue. Deeper wounds may need tape, stitches, or staples.

If you have not had a tetanus shot in the last 5 years, and you have a dirty wound, your healthcare provider may give you a tetanus shot.

It is very important to follow your provider's instructions to help the wound heal, to prevent an infection, and to lessen scarring.

How can I take care of myself?

Follow the instructions from your healthcare provider for taking care of the wound. Instructions may include:

healthinformatics info


Caring for Stitches (Sutures).(2013). MedicineNet.com. Retrieved 9/2014 from http://www.medicinenet.com/caring_for_stitches_sutures/views.htm.

Dermabond Care Instructions; Published by Ethicon a Johnson and Johnson Company; Ethicon Inc 2006.

Medline Plus. Wounds. Accessed October 16, 2008. "Wounds: MedlinePlus." National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health. 5 July 2011. Web. .

Rakel: Textbook of Family Medicine, 7th ed. 2007 Saunders, An Imprint of Elsevier.

Univeristy of Ottawa (Canada). Wound Care. Dept. of Emergency Medicine. Wound Treatment. 2003. Accessed 9/2013 from http://www.med.uottawa.ca/procedures/wc/e_treatment.htm.

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Last Modified: 2014-10-29

Last Reviewed: 2014-09-24

Website Updated: August 2015

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This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

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