Taking care of stitches in your foot is not as complicated as you may imagine. Just like any other part of the body, the stitches should be checked regularly and kept clean and dry to avoid infections.
Our podiatrists in Sydney have written their top tips for how to take care of stitches in your foot.
Keep Them Dry
For at least the first 24 hours, you need to keep your stitches dry, preferably 48 hours.
Make sure they are covered with a waterproof dressing, and if not, cover it with a plastic bag or some cling wrap when you need to take a shower or bath.
If you need to clean the area, wipe it gently with a damp cloth and then pat it dry with a soft towel or paper towel to avoid pulling the stitches.
Make sure you avoid all water activities like swimming while you have stitches in your wound.
Keep The Area Clean
It should go without saying but you need to keep the stitches and surrounding area clean at all times.
Wash the wound area once or twice a day. Make sure your hands are clean before you wash the area to avoid passing any germs into the wound.
Don’t soak the area, rather stick to washing it gently and quickly, then drying immediately with care.
If the wound is bandaged, replace the bandage regularly (as recommended by your doctor or podiatrist) to ensure it is clean and fresh.
Check For Infections
Check the stitches and area around the wound for any signs of infection. Catching an infection in its early stages can make the recovery period a lot quicker.
Look for swelling, redness, pus, bleeding, or sensitivity in the area of the stitches. If it doesn’t subside or gets worse, go back to your GP or podiatrist to get it checked out.
Don’t Pick At Them
No matter how itchy the stitches get, don’t pick at them or scratch the wound.
This can open up the wound and allow infections to spread.
Leave them alone and keep them covered if necessary.
If you’re experiencing pain related to the wound, over the counter pain medication could help. Check with a pharmacist, your GP or your podiatrist.
Stay Off Your Foot
Keep your weight off your foot as much as you can. This will help your skin to heal without the strain from having your bodyweight added to your foot.
Don’t walk on it, especially if the stitches are on the underside of your foot or toes. This will prevent the wound from reopening.
Depending on the type of wound and stitches, this may or may not be necessary so check with your GP or podiatrist what would be best for you.
If you have to have stitches in your foot, get the nurse or doctor to tell you how often to check and wash the wound, and also when they need to be removed.
Some stitches are dissolving ones so will come out on their own, and others need to be removed. Knowing which type you have is important so they don’t stay in for too long.
Book your podiatrist appointment online now. You don’t need a referral from your GP in most cases so give us a call!