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This is an anchor post for any discussion on my 101 on Getting Stitches in Thailand blog post which attempts to cover everything from getting cut, to how to handle the ref, to getting stitches themselves, aftercare and socailial consequences in Thailand. if you have running questions or experiences you can post them in this thread and if you need help the community will try to answer. This post and conversation aims to be a foundation for a chapter in the book Emma and I are writing A Guide to Female Fighting in Thailand.
So, I cut pretty easily and as a result have received a large number of stitches in my head over my (now) 116 fight career. I'm okay with that, it's part of my experience of being a fighter and it's a consequence of my style. But the scar tissue from cuts, unlike a broken bone that heals back stronger, is actually more prone to break again. Not "yay". I'm wondering if anyone has any personal experience, old wives tales, stuff their crazy farmer grandfather did, etc. regarding sutures, cuts, scars, etc. In terms of healing and reducing visible scars: aloe vera is awesome, vitamin E works, and silicon treatments (usually patches or you paint them on) seem to be good for keloid tissue, as is the product Hirudoid. Number one trick for reducing visibility: keep your scar out of sunlight and use SPF 50 any time you venture out. What about skin toughening? In Thailand they put hot water on fighting chicken's faces to make the skin harder to scratch open. Old school boxers apparently washed their faces with vinegar and I have no idea if this did anything other than feel real manly and smell pretty unpleasant. Anyone know about these or others? And sutures: if you get them, try to keep them dry as much as possible. If you can't stay away from training, you can put Vaseline over the lot of them while you train so the sweat and dirt stays out, then wash carefully afterward. In parts of your face that don't move much, like your hairline, 5 days is pretty solid before you can take them out. If it's on an eyebrow, or some part of your face that moves, leave them for a little longer. Attitude in Thailand is that you shouldn't fight for around 21 days (3 weeks) after the stitches come out to allow the wound to get strong. This "rule" is broken all the time though. My gyms never let me clinch with the stitches still in, but pads, bagwork, shadow, and a little sparring (with care and obviously not impacting the sutures) is all permitted. Anyone? Doctors? Esthetitians? Dermatologists? Coaches? Moms? Folks who have had stitches?