Q: About a month ago, I cut my finger while chopping veggies and wound up
with a few stitches. My doctor removed them a week later, but since then the
cut has reopened and doesn't seem to want to heal. I've kept it clean with saline
and water and covered it with surgical tape, but it looks worse than ever.
Dr. Donnica: It's impossible for me to make a diagnosis without examining
you, but it sounds like you have a chronic wound. This is any non-healing wound
or ulcer that has been present for 3-4 weeks and has not responded to conventional
You need to see your doctor as soon as possible. The wound could be infected,
in which case you'll need to have it thoroughly cleaned out. You'll probably
also need antibiotic therapy. Once the infection is resolved, you may or may
not need new stitches. You may also have an underlying medical problem that
is interfering with the healing such as diabetes, poor nutritional status, or
an impaired immune system. Smokers may also have impaired wound healing.
Created: 1/10/2004  - Donnica Moore, M.D.