Hello, My daughter (4 1/2), split her chin open five days ago (to the bone). She has internal and external stitches in and we are concerned with potential track marks on her face. We are scheduled to have them removed in two days (so seven days today), but due to the dr. not being available tomorrow. Since there is a lot of tension on the wound given that it is on the chin, should we be concerned at all with the timing or push to have them removed today or tomorrow? Photo enclosed. thanks!
Stitches in the Chin - for How Long? (photo)
Doctor Answers 6
Suture removal from the face
Looking at the photograph, the sutures are ready to be removed. The skin has not grown back fully, but the area looks a little inflamed.
I routinely remove most stitches (unless they are running stitches under the skin) after five days because of the potential for the cross hatchmarks.
However it is difficult to know whether a day or two's delay will make a huge difference.
The scar on your daughter's chin in any case is likely to start by being a bit red and lumpy. May I suggest that you continue with gentle massage of the scar with some moisturising cream for the next few months while the scar matures? Try to also avoid a lot of direct sunlight (by using sunblock/ hat etc.) for the next summer.
Facial Suture Removal
7 days is ok for suture removal. 7 days for a traumatic wound may be preferable to 5 days. In general, track marks tend to occur in sutures left for 2 to 3 weeks and with larger sutures.
Stitches in the Chin - for How Long?
The time for suture removal will depend on the type of the repair.
If appropriate layered repair has been performed the external suture material can be removed as early as four days.
It appears to me that 6-0 Proline has been used as an external repair with some tension across the laceration.
Any delay above 7 days in this scenario may leave crosshatch marks and in my opinion should be avoided.
There are possibilities for scar revision in the future if the result does not match the expectations.
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Optimal time for removing stitches on the face
Anywhere from 5-7 days is a good range to remove top stitches on the face. In reality, an extra day or two shouldn't be a big deal either. The wound on the chin looks like it is healing well and will get better with time. If the scar is an issue down the line, I would recommend seeing a dermatologist with expertise in laser surgery for improving the appearance of the scar.
Traumatic Chin Laceration
Generally speaking, sutures should be removed after 6-7 days in the face or neck. Traumatic lacerations are less predictable in healing than a clean surgical incision, so the scar may need to be evaluated for revision in the future, but may heal just fine.