How to Remove Staples & Stitches From a Wound

Written by armando sullivan
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How to Remove Staples & Stitches From a Wound
Clean tweezers like these should be used in the procedure. (tweezers on white image by Bartlomiej Nowak from Fotolia.com)

Getting injured and having to get stitches or staples to seal the injury can be inconvenient. Although sometimes it is OK to remove these on your own, you should always speak to a doctor and get permission before attempting it yourself. With a doctor's permission, patience and precision are necessary in the procedure. If you rush and mess up, you could end up with an injury worse than your first.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Medical staple remover
  • Clean tweezers
  • Rubbing alcohol/antiseptic
  • Cotton balls
  • Surgical scissors

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Consider and follow any and all discharge directions from your doctor; heed warnings about possible redness or irregularity that would prevent removal of the staples.

    How to Remove Staples & Stitches From a Wound
    A medical staple remover should be used. (cuticle remover image by Antonio Oquias from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Use a cotton ball to absorb a small amount of alcohol or antiseptic and wipe the affected area with this cotton. Allow to dry.

  3. 3

    Read the directions on the new staple remover. Apply pressure to the handle of the remover. This will cause the staple to straighten out at each end so that it can easily be removed from the skin.

  4. 4

    Remove the striaghtened staple from skin. This should be relatively painless.

  5. 5

    Repeat steps three and four for each staple.

  1. 1

    Consider and follow any and all discharge directions from your doctor; heed warnings about possible redness or irregularity that would prevent removal of the stitches.

  2. 2

    Use a cotton ball to absorb a small amount of alcohol or antiseptic and wipe the affected area with this cotton. Allow to dry.

  3. 3

    Use the tweezers to pick up the knot of each stitch.

  4. 4

    Use the scissors to cut stitch. Use the tweezers again to pull the now loose stitch from the skin.

    How to Remove Staples & Stitches From a Wound
    Surgical scissors should be used for this step. (Medical scissors image by Bartlomiej Nowak from Fotolia.com)
  5. 5

    Repeat steps three and four for each stitch.

Tips and warnings

  • Be patient with removal of the stitches and staples.
  • Make sure to follow directions given by doctor previously or get permission from doctor before removal.

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