Taking care of stitches on lips
- Disinfect the wound
Before treating any wound, you need to make sure your hands are clean with soap / antiseptic solution to avoid infection by bacteria on the skin. Use warm water and antibacterial soap to wash. You can use the sanitizer after you’ve washed your hands.
Vinyl gloves or latex gloves can be used as an alternative, but make sure the patient’s lips are not allergic to the rubber. The main thing that should not be overlooked is not to let the hands and the wound come into direct contact with each other to avoid infection.
- Avoid infecting the wound: limit forceful breathing, sneezing or coughing near the wound site.
- Tilt the patient’s head forward. If the lips are still bleeding, have the injured person sit up straight, face forward and lower the chin. This will help draw blood forward, prevent blood from flowing and sticking to the mouth, and prevent the patient from swallowing blood as it could cause vomiting or suffocation for the patient.
- Check around the wound area. Usually when the lip is injured, other areas are also injured from the initial trauma. Go to the nearest medical facility if you experience the following cases:
– Loss of teeth
– Face or jaw fracture
– Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Confirm if the patient has been vaccinated: if the wound is caused by metal or contaminated objects, the injured person is at high risk for tetanus infection.
– Infants and young children should be vaccinated against tetanus at 2 – 4 and 6 months of age, and booster at 15-18 months of age, with a final higher dose at 4-6 years of age.
– If the injured person has a contaminated wound, they should have had a booster shot within the last 5 years. If not, you should get an injection right away to be sure.
Adolescents and adolescents should get a booster shot at about 11-18 years of age.
Adults should also get a tetanus booster shot every 10 years.
- Rinse mouth/lips: ask the injured person to remove all jewelry around the wound (if any), including such as tongue/lip piercings. At the same time, please spit out all the food or gum in your mouth when injured
This step is extremely important to avoid infection and reduce the risk of bad scarring.
– If there are objects inside the wound such as: dust particles/dirty sand, remove them as soon as possible by letting the patient wash the wound himself under running water until all dirt is removed.
– If the injured person is not convenient to do it, you can use a glass of clean water and pour it over the wound. Continue flushing until the wound is completely cleaned.
– Use a cotton swab dipped in hydrogen peroxide to deep clean the wound again and again. It is important to ensure that the injured person will not accidentally ingest hydrogen peroxide into the body.
Intensive lip stitch care
Hemostasis of the wound
It is best to let the injured person press on their own lips, you can help them but remember to wear clean rubber gloves before doing this.
Using a clean towel/gauze or compression bandage, press gently and keep the wound for 15 minutes. If the towel, gauze, or bandage has become soaked with blood, remove the old one and replace it with a new one.
Check the wound after 15 minutes. The lip wound will probably stop / stop bleeding after about 45 minutes, but if after 15 minutes the bleeding still does not stop you should go to the nearest medical facility for assistance.
- The mouth, including the gums, tongue, and lips, has a lot of blood vessels and main blood supply, so an injury to the lips can cause more bleeding than other parts of the body.
- Apply force to the inside: teeth-jaw or gums.
- If the injured person feels discomfort, place a clean gauze/cloth between the teeth and lips, then continue applying force.
– Care for sutures in the lips: regularly clean and wash the wound with salt water / appropriate specialized antiseptic solution.
– Lips are a very sensitive location, because it is a place where we often talk, eat and drink, so cleaning to ensure that the wound is not infected is not to be missed.
– Care for lip stitches using a cotton swab to gently wipe at the base of the stitch. If using self-dissolving thread, after about 7 to 10 days, the thread will dissolve, but if you use other types of thread, you need to go to a medical facility according to the doctor’s appointment to conduct thread trimming.
– Also with the care and eating, you should also carefully carry some foods such as chicken, water spinach, beef, sticky rice… to limit the formation of bad scars, dark scars or keloid scars.