What is cuts on the hand?

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Cuts on the hand closed with stitches in children: Overview

A cut on your child's hand can be on the fingers, the thumb, or the front or back of the hand. Sometimes a cut can injure the tendons, blood vessels, or nerves of your child's hand.

The doctor used stitches to close the cut. Using stitches also helps the cut heal and reduces scarring. The doctor may have given your child a splint to help prevent moving the hand, fingers, or thumb.

If the cut went deep and through the skin, the doctor may have put in two layers of stitches. The deeper layer brings the deep part of the cut together. These stitches will dissolve and don't need to be removed. The stitches in the upper layer are the ones you see on the cut.

Your child will probably have a bandage.

Your child will need to have the stitches removed, usually in 7 to 14 days. The doctor may suggest that your child see a hand specialist if the cut is very deep or if your child has trouble moving the fingers or has less feeling in the hand.

The doctor has checked your child carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.

How can you care for cuts on your hand closed with stitches?

  • Keep the cut dry for the first 24 to 48 hours. After this, you can shower if your doctor okays it. Pat the cut dry.
  • Don't soak the cut, such as in a bathtub. Your doctor will tell you when it's safe to get the cut wet.
  • If your doctor told you how to care for your cut, follow your doctor's instructions. If you did not get instructions, follow this general advice:
    • After the first 24 to 48 hours, wash around the cut with clean water 2 times a day. Don't use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, which can slow healing.
    • You may cover the cut with a thin layer of petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, and a nonstick bandage.
    • Apply more petroleum jelly and replace the bandage as needed.
  • Prop up the sore hand on a pillow anytime you sit or lie down during the next 3 days. Try to keep it above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling.
  • Avoid any activity that could cause your cut to reopen.
  • Do not remove the stitches on your own. Your doctor will tell you when to come back to have the stitches removed.
  • Be safe with medicines. Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.

Cuts on a child's hand closed with stitches: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has new pain, or the pain gets worse.
  • The skin near the cut is cold or pale or changes color.
  • Your child has tingling, weakness, or numbness near the cut.
  • The cut starts to bleed, and blood soaks through the bandage. Oozing small amounts of blood is normal.
  • Your child has trouble moving the area of the hand near the cut.
  • Your child has symptoms of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness around the cut.
    • Red streaks leading from the cut.
    • Pus draining from the cut.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.