Removing stitches

I received stitches for the third time in my life last week. I suppose I’ve been pretty fortunate, as everybody I talk to seems to have gotten at least that. Last week I split my left index finger, down through the nail ending about a quarter inch below the cuticle. The nice thing about it is despite the broken bone and stitches it really doesn’t hurt that much. I have NO toleration for pain and (I guess because it is an extremity) it just doesn’t hurt that much.


Like I said, I cannot handle discomfort, I am a wuss. The stiches are itching the hell out of my bandaged finger. I just think about the nylonnish thread passing through (and under!) my skin and I get this compulsion to rip them out and scratch.

I can hold out til Thursday, which is when the emergency room intern said I can go to my doctor and have them removed, but my doctor can’t see me till the following Monday. The thought of bearing these stiches an add’l weekend bugs me. Assuming I boil the tweezers & clippers and have peroxide on hand, is it that critical that I go to a Dr’s office? I mean it’s pretty simple, snip then
pull. Repeat. Right? :eek:

CUT, then pull. Repeat. Pulling without cutting the stitch will have painful results!

Two things… cut pull cut pull take out each stitch at a time not as one long string. the idea is never let any stitching that is currently above your skin… (and therefore unsterile…) go under your skin. Yes its tedious but so is incision-line staph infections.

But seriously, the reason its itchy is that its healing! and i would suggest, since stiches removal is mor elike a two handed job, if you really cant get in to see the doc, or to a walk-in clinic, or anywhere there is a nurse on call, then get a friend to help you. ( I didnt say this remember, I did advise a professional, but failing that I really dont see how to do it without two hands… and I take out stitches regularly…

Well best of Luck!

It’s a little tricky to do right. You want to make sure you don’t pull the dirty exposed thread back through the wound. Lift up on the thread in the middle with the tweezers and press down with the scissors tip on one end of the loop to expose some “fresh” thread. Then cut as low as you can on the fresh thread and pull from the other end with a quick jerk. I’d really advise having a medical professional take them out because of the infection risk but that’s how they do it.

“Everybody smokes in hell”

It itches cuz it wants more blood to flow to the area. A natural thing the body does. It’s useful.

You can call your local hospital info line & ask them what to do. Won’t cost a cent & they have the answer. Tell us what it is.

My 2 year old son busted open his forehead several months ago. We went to the hospital and got him stiched up. I intended to take the stitches out, since I didn’t see a medical benefit and didn’t want to waste an afternoon going back to the hospital. I asked the doctor if there was anything special I had to do when removing 'em, and she had the unmitigate gall to say that without a medical license I was unqualified.

Well, she was an idiot, and frankly I thought her stitching job was sloppy. Really downgraded my opinion of doctors in general.

The removal went easy: I just used tweezers and scissors and went easy. Be sure to sterilize first.

(I should add that had there been infection or something, I would’ve gone back to a doc. I’m no medical expert, but removing stitches just doesn’t strike me as something requiring extreme skill, experience, or knowledge.)

I really do empathize with you wanting to take the stitches out, and the itching can make you feel like you’re losing your mind.

Why not just get some benadryl spray, and it will help the itching go away, get the one with aloe already in it.


“Um, according to who? Nothing more than a high brow troll, though occasionally the bi polar personality swung in a constructive direction on innocuous topics.” Omniscient