It is advised that you avoid washing the area where you have stitches (also known as
sutures) for the first 5-7 days. Keeping your stitches completely dry and clean will mean you are less likely to develop an infection.
If your stitches get wet accidentally, simply dry the area immediately with a towel and make sure all the moisture is soaked up around the stitches. Don't use cotton wool as this can leave fibers behind that irritate the wound.
If your stitches get wet and you are concerned, call your doctor's office for advice.
Keeping stitches dry
If you have stitches on your arm or leg, you can have a bath or shower as long as you keep your stitches dry. You could try wrapping a plastic bag or towel around your arm or leg and keep it out of the water. However, don't risk this if there is any chance that the wound could get wet.
If there is no way you can have a bath or shower without getting your stitches wet, you could try having a standing wash. Use a cloth soaked with warm water to clean yourself, making sure the water is not too hot to avoid burning yourself.
If the stitches are on your head, you may not be able to wash your hair fully for several weeks, or at least until after the stitches have been removed.
After bathing, showering, or washing, dab your stitches dry with a clean towel, even if the wound area didn't get wet, to ensure that the area is completely dry.
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice,
diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your
physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere.
If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.