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Your child's cut (wound) may need to be either stitched (sutured) or glued. A special glue (such as dermabond) is used in hospitals and medical clinics to keep the edges of the skin together. It has the same effect as stitches and is used on superficial (not very deep) wounds and only takes about a minute to apply and dry.
There are many different stitch (suture) types and techniques. Your doctor will advise you whether your child has stitches that need to be removed. Sometimes dissolvable stitches are used.
Your child's cut will be red, tender and swollen straight after stitching or gluing. This should ease as the wound starts to heal in around two to three days. All wounds, whether sutured or glued, will leave a scar. Initially the scar may be red or purple in colour and will fade to light pink, white or nearly invisible over time. This may take up to a year.
Protect your child's wound from the sun. To prevent darkening of the scar, keep the wound covered and use sunscreen on the healed wound for at least the next year.
Your child may need some simple pain relief (such as paracetamol) in the first couple of days following an injury. Speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for more information.
Your child has had:
Developed by the RCH Emergency Department. First published April 2008. Last updated March 2016