Can You Swim With Stitches

Swimming with stitches is not recommended as it can increase the risk of infection and delay the healing process. While taking a refreshing dip in the water may be tempting, it’s best to avoid submerging the wound until it has fully healed.

Any water activity, such as swimming, bathing, or soaking in a hot tub, may increase the risk of infection as it can introduce harmful bacteria to the wound site.

If you must get in the water, cover the stitches with waterproof bandages or dressings and avoid any heavy activity that may cause the wound to reopen.

It’s always best to consult your doctor before risking any activity affecting the healing process.

The Science Behind Stitches and Swimming

Swimming is a great exercise, but what if you have stitches? Stitches are a common procedure to help heal wounds. They work by holding the skin together to promote healing.

Swimming may not be advised, depending on the location of the stitches and the severity of the injury.

If the stitches are in an area submerged in water, like on your arm or leg, it’s best to avoid swimming until the stitches are removed. Water can delay the healing process and increase the risk of infection.

It’s important to follow the doctor’s advice on when it’s safe to swim with stitches. Understanding how stitches work and the healing process of wounds can help you decide when it’s okay to dive back into the pool.

In our previous post, we discussed the importance of wound care, including how to use Steri-Strips. Now, let’s explore whether you can safely swim with Steri-Strips.

Can You Swim With Stitches: What Doctors Say

Swimming is popular for people of all ages, but what if you have stitches? According to doctors, it’s best to avoid swimming until your stitches have fully healed.

Swimming with stitches can increase the risk of infection, as water can carry harmful bacteria.

Swimming can also cause the wound to re-open or bleed, slowing down the healing process. Before considering swimming with stitches, it’s important to wait until your doctor confirms that the wound has fully healed.

Factors like the type of stitches, the location of the wound, and the individual’s overall health must also be considered.

It’s always better to err on caution and take the necessary time to let your stitches fully heal before hitting the pool.

Tips for Swimming With Stitches

Swimming with stitches can be risky, but it is possible with proper care. Before swimming, ensure the stitches are dry and the wound is not oozing.

Choose a one-piece or tight-fitting swimsuit that won’t rub against the stitches. Once in the water, avoid any activities that could re-open the wound.

If you begin to feel pain or discomfort, exit the water immediately. After swimming, gently pat the stitches dry and clean with soap and water. It’s important to monitor for signs of infection and seek medical attention if necessary.

By taking precautions and managing stitches carefully, swimming can still be enjoyed even with a healing wound.

When it comes to activities like swimming, having an open wound raises questions about potential infections. Let’s delve into whether swimming with an open wound is advisable.

Alternatives to Swimming With Stitches

Swimming with stitches can put your wound at risk of infection. But other water activities can be done, such as paddle boarding or kayaking.

Alternatively, low-impact exercises can still improve circulation and promote healing. Walking, gentle stretching, and yoga are all great options.

Always consult with your doctor before engaging in any physical activity post-surgery. Keep the wound dry and covered, and be mindful of any signs of infection.

With time and proper care, your stitches will heal, and you can resume your favorite activities safely.

Participating in water-based activities can be a concern for individuals with a Foley catheter. So, can you swim with a Foley catheter?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Swim With Stitches?

It depends on the severity of the injury. Generally, you should avoid swimming for at least 7-10 days after getting stitches and only resume swimming after consulting your doctor.

What Happens If I Swim With Stitches?

Swimming with stitches puts you at risk of infection and reopening the wound. The water and moisture can increase the risk of bacterial growth and may cause the wound to loosen, extending the healing process.

What is the Correct Way to Care for Stitches While Swimming?

You should cover the wound with a waterproof bandage or wrap to care for your stitches while swimming. Also, avoid submerging the wound in water and take necessary precautions like avoiding physical activities that can cause the wound to open.

Can Saltwater Damage My Stitches?

Yes, saltwater can damage stitches and cause the wound to loosen, leading to infection. Saltwater can also increase the risk of bleeding and scarring. Hence, avoiding swimming in salt water is recommended until the stitches are removed.

Can I Go Scuba Diving With Stitches?

No, it’s not recommended to go scuba diving with stitches, as the pressure changes at different depths can cause discomfort, pain, or injury. Additionally, the gear may rub and irritate the wound, increasing the risk of infection.


It’s natural to want to get back to regular activities as soon as possible after getting stitches. However, swimming with stitches is not recommended until they’re fully healed.

Doing so could increase the infection risk, slow the healing process, and cause the wound to reopen.

While it may be tempting to jump in the pool or ocean, it’s important to prioritize your health and allow the wound to heal properly first.

Remember to follow your doctor’s instructions for aftercare, keep the wound clean and dry, and avoid any activity that could strain the affected area.

The stitches will eventually heal with proper care and patience, and you can resume your favorite water activities without any complications.

Masud Rana is the dedicated content writer at SwimZer, bringing a passion for swimming and a flair for words together to provide you with the best swimming advice and tips. Dive in and join him on your aquatic journey!