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Laceration Without Closure


Your laceration has gone past the time to be closed. Lacerations in areas of poor blood flow usually need to be closed within 8 hours. In areas with normal blood flow, lacerations usually need to be closed within 12 hours. Facial lacerations need to be closed within 24 hours. Your laceration has been cleaned and a dressing has been applied. Your laceration will heal on its own without sutures, staples, or other closure devices.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have redness, pain, or fever that gets worse quickly.
  • Your wound has a bad smell or has pus draining from it.
  • You have bleeding that does not stop after 10 minutes of holding firm, direct pressure on your wound.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Wound care:

  • Keep the wound dry for the first 24 to 48 hours or as directed. Wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after you care for your wound. After that, gently clean the wound once or twice a day with cool water. Use soap to clean around the wound, but try not to get any on the wound edges. Do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean your wound unless you are directed to do so.
  • Leave your bandage on as long as directed. Bandages keep your wound clean and protected. They can also prevent swelling. Ask how to change and how often to change your bandage. Ask if you should apply antibacterial ointment. Be careful not to wrap the bandage or tape too tightly. This could cut off blood flow and cause more injury. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.

Follow up with your healthcare provider within 2 days or as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.