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Can he swim with stitches?

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My 9 year old son got stitches in his face over 48 hours ago. I was told by urgent care to keep bacitracin ointment on the stitches and keep it covered. How long should I keep it covered? I have always been told to let wounds breathe in order to heal faster. Can he swim with stitches?

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 26 Doctors Online


The stitch is basically put where there was a cut. When they say stitch can be removed in 7 days, it means it takes 7 days for the cut to heal and connective tissue to grow and connect the two sides and oppose the cut surface together.

Therefore, it's important you keep the area clean. Bacitracin is antibiotic will prevent growth of bacteria. It's important you apply it twice daily on stitch area. Its better you keep away from swimming for 7 days. Water is chlorinated and there could be other microorganisms growing in water.

Try keeping it dry and not wet to prevent yeasts growing too.

Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
Dr. John Monheit and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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