Butterfly bandage , sometimes called Steri-Strips, or butterfly bandages, are a type of butterfly bandage used instead of conventional stitches (sutures) to close small, minor cuts.

The bandages with adhesives aren’t an ideal choice in cases where the cut is massive or is bleeding, has rough edges or isn’t stopping bleeding.

They’re also not an ideal choice if the cut occurs in an area where the skin is prone to movement, as an apex joint or in an area that’s hairy or moist. If this is the case, the bandages might not be able to adhere.

Please continue reading to find out how to remove and apply butterfly stitches and when they are appropriate to use them.

When should you stitch butterfly stitches?

Some aspects of a wound can or don’t make it a suitable option for butterfly stitching. If you are considering using butterfly stitches to heal a wound, you’ll want to consider:

  • Examine edge. Butterfly stitches effectively hold the edges that are clean of cut that is not too deep. Think about a more substantial bandage or a liquid if you’ve got an injury or cut with ragged edges.
  • Examine the bleeding. Utilizing a clean towel, cloth, or bandage, apply pressure for five minutes. If the wound continues to bleed and you cannot stop bleeding, seek medical assistance.
  • Check the size. If the cut is too long or deep, butterfly stitches may not be the ideal solution. Butterfly stitches should not be used to treat more than 1/2 inch cuts.
butterfly bandage

How do you utilize butterfly stitches?

  1. Cleanse the wound

The first step of wound care is to clean the wound:

  1. Cleanse your hands.
  2. Use cool water to wash your cuts, flushing dirt and other debris.
  3. Cleanse the area around the cut area with water and soap, then dry the cut. Butterfly stitches stay better when dry, clean skin.
  4. Cover the wound

The next step involves putting on those butterfly stitches.

  1. Make sure to close the cut by securing its edges.
  2. The butterfly stitch should be placed across one of the cuts to secure the edges, not in a lengthwise fashion.
  3. Place half of the bandage on the cut side.
  4. The other half of the piece should be placed over the cut, ensuring it is tight enough to secure the skin’s edges and adhere to the opposite part of the cut.
  5. Continue to stitch the butterfly across the cut — alternate with the upper and lower strip approximately one-eighth of an inch from each other -until you feel that you can feel that the cuts’ edges have been well-anchored.
  6. To keep the stitches in position, think about putting a bandage down the cut side that runs horizontally from the cut, then over the edges of your butterfly stitches.

How do I take care of butterfly stitches?

If you’ve suffered an open cut that has been closed using butterfly stitches, you should follow these instructions for care while the wound heals and before removing the stitches:

  • Clean up the area.
  • Dry the area within the first 24 hours.
  • Within 48 hours, ensure that the area is clean, excluding showering or washing.
  • If the edges of the butterfly stitch are loose, cut them using scissors. The pull-on them can reopen the cut.

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How do I take butterfly stitches off

As per research from the University of North Carolina, according to the University of North Carolina, if the butterfly stitches are after twelve days, the stitches may be removed.

Do not try to pull off the scabs. Instead, let them soak in a solution comprising 1/2 peroxide and 1/2 water and then gently lift them off.

Butterfly stitches in contrast to. sutures

Standard stitches are the most preferred choice for wound closure in certain situations. This includes:

  • large cuts
  • cuts that gap wide
  • Cuts that occur placed on a curve as well as an area that is often moving, such as joints (the bandages won’t be able to secure the skin)
  • cut that won’t stop bleeding
  • cuts in which the fat (yellow) is exposed
  • cut where muscle (deep dark red) is exposed

Because sutures heal more quickly than butterfly stitching, sutures are frequently used for cuts on the face or other areas where scarring could be a problem.

When should you see your doctor?

If you’ve put butterfly stitches on and you’re not sure, consult your physician if you:

  • The bleeding continues. The bleeding continues, which signifies that the butterfly stitch may not have been the most appropriate option to treat the wound.
  • The cut is redder, swollen or more painful. It could be an indication of infection.

The main takeaway

Butterfly stitches are small adhesive bandages used for closing minor and superficial cuts.

They are used in place of stitches by doctors and can be used at home, if needed, under the right conditions.