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Health Forum    Injuries
Health Discussion Forum

are skin staples or sutures better for a cut to my elbow? How to I prevent scarring?
I cut my elbow on broken glass at work and the ER Doctor used staples; shes said that it promotes lesss scarring, but I see a large raised scar forming. will this disappear after staples are removed?

You can't really prevent scarring, but using Mederma or Curad Scar Therapy Pads (Neosporin also makes some) will help minimize the scar later on.

dealers choice. In my opinion, I would use a particular type of running pullout stitch. Many would think me crazy, too. The staples will almost certainly not promote "less scaring", compared to other inert suture material.

That said, the scar has little to do with the above. That is a combination of your personal biology, the total damage to the skin edges, how well the skin was put together. Staples can put the skin together as well as just about any other technique. But they are not idiot proof devices by any means. If the skin edge is folding in on itself, or there is more than a 2mm overlap (think roof shingles), or a gap of 4mm or more... the wound will scar more. For the 1st `0 days or so, the wound needs to be watched closely for infection. Obvious usually, it is usually painful/red/draining.... but can be deep and indolent.

So, what to do. Neosporin to the wound twice daily. Assuming no major gaps/infection the staples should come out about day 7 at the latest, to minimize the "rail roading" pattern that can occur with staples/stitches. 7 days is kinda early, don't use the arm much if it stresses the scar. Then once a day, using the neosporin, gently massage the wound/scar. At this point, the wound will start to contract, crossing a joint, you need to ensure that the scar will not limit range of motion. Switch to cocoa butter and continue 2x-4x gently massages. Keep the wound out of direct sun of any kind for 6 months. If you must, use liberal amounts of high spf sunscreen. Scar reducing "kits", creams, myderma, have varied success. Seem to work best in fair skinned persons.

with in time,yes there will be scaring the redness and swelling will go down in time i got a cut on my arm over a year ago i went to the Dr and got stitches even after a year glass works its way up to the skin don't worry good luck

The scar will actually reduce over time. The skin needs time to heal back together and that raised scar is the result. The scar will definitely lessen. As for preventing scarring you can use vitamin E after the wound itself is healed. Don't put anything on it until it is completely sealed shut! This could create infection.

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