There’s an NHS strike on. Plus I needed to work the next day and having a blue stitch right in the middle of my nose wasn’t a good idea, as I was playing the role of a ‘fashion model’ in a movie. AND DON’T ALL LAUGH AT ONCE, I know I am not the typical demographic/look/height/age for a catwalk star.


‘In general, removing your own stitches isn’t a good idea. When doctors remove stitches, they’re looking for signs of infection, proper healing, and wound closure. If you try to remove your stitches at home, your doctor won’t be able to conduct their final follow-up’. That’s according to the website Healthline.

I know, I know. But I did look up a YouTube tutorial (so that’s fine then) and proceeded carefully. I didn’t have QUITE all the right equipment, so I ‘sterilised’ some tweezers, scissors and cuticle clippers in a mug of hot water and got to work (now that I see this written down, even I am starting to think it was a bad idea).

I squinted through my varifocals at my magnifying mirror (x12 magnification!) and actually the combination of the glasses and the mirror made it quite OUT of focus. The cuticle clippers couldn’t get a grip on the stitch so I swapped to the scissors – my hair cutting scissors. I tried to be careful and something seemed to work, and the stitch slid out of my skin. The wound didn’t bleed. So far so good. It didn’t look infected either, with no swelling.

I slightly shot myself in the foot by then immediately having a bath and washing my face. The wound started to bleed a little – I guess I had washed off whatever scab was there. I dried it gently and dabbed it with a tissue and it stopped bleeding. The next day, as I got up at 6am to drive 100 miles to work, I made sure not to get it wet and covered it with makeup – liquid, flesh-toned concealer (of the type used to cover tattoos) and gently applied powder. It looked pretty good all day – no-one noticed it until I pointed it out – so everything was good!

Now, I am not advising anyone else to do this! I did leave the stitch in for 5 days (the NHS advised me to have it taken out after 7) so I was almost following their instructions to the letter. And I have saved my GP a job – they are manically overworked.

But I do slightly worry that some people, knowing the junior doctors are striking for 4 days this week (with an estimated 350,000 appointments cancelled, including operations) will take things into their own hands. Or just not go to their doctor, thinking they can hang on. My self-administered procedure turned out OK, so far. But don’t follow my lead, please! 🙂 The NHS have said urgent care is always available, so make a judgement – and make that call, if you need to. Thank you for your attention, and I hope you weren’t eating when you looked at this *queasy emoji*.

Sarah Lockett

Sarah Lockett is a former BBC News / Sky News anchor who currently presents a variety of content for corporate clients and delivers media training.
She has presented on BBC News and Sky News, plus reported for Channel Four News, 5 News, Reuters and others.
She now hosts webinars and conferences, chairs corporate/academic panel discussions, hosts award ceremonies and events. She writes, presents and produces training videos, as well as voiceovers (both factual and drama/comedy). She has written two books and is also working as an actor.

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