First, the doctor or health care professional will thoroughly examine and clean the wound, removing dirt or other foreign objects. This is extremely important so the wound does not become infected. This process may be painful and therefore may require a local anesthetic - either a cream, gel or an injection.
Once the cut has been completely cleaned, the physician has a variety of options available for closing it, depending on the type of laceration. If the wound requires stitches, the physician will use surgical thread to sew the wound together. Because a needle is being passed through the skin, it may require some sort of local anesthetic. Stapling of wounds is another option. This is fast and may not require an anesthetic.
Another option in skin closure is topical skin adhesive. A skin adhesive works like glue and is spread on top of the wound while a physician holds the skin edges together. The adhesive dries quickly and forms a strong, flexible covering for the cut. The adhesive does not require a bandage and you can get it wet in the course of normal activities. Showering is fine, although soaking or bathing is not advisable.
Skin strips, another option, are small tape-like devices that are placed on top of the skin to hold wound edges together. Generally, they are used for less serious cuts.