Protecting Stitches from Water When Swimming

Keeping your stitches dry while swimming is crucial for preventing infection and ensuring proper healing. This guide provides detailed methods and considerations for protecting your stitches from water, enabling you to enjoy swimming activities safely.

Waterproof Covers

Commercial Waterproof Protectors

Overview: Commercial waterproof protectors are specially designed to cover and protect wounds or stitches. These products come in various sizes and shapes to fit different parts of the body, such as arms, legs, and torso.

Key Features:

  • Material: Most protectors are made from durable, high-quality plastic or rubber materials that offer excellent water resistance.
  • Seal: They typically feature a tight-sealing mechanism, such as a rubber gasket or adhesive strip, to prevent water from entering.
  • Reusable: Many of these products are reusable, making them a cost-effective solution for frequent swimmers.

Cost: Prices range from $15 to $50, depending on the brand, size, and specific features.


  • Easy to use and remove.
  • Offers a high level of protection against water.


  • Can be uncomfortable for long periods of use.
  • Limited by the shape and size of the protector, which may not fit all body types perfectly.

DIY Waterproof Covers

Materials Needed:

  • Plastic wrap or a plastic bag.
  • Waterproof medical tape or duct tape.


  1. Cover the Stitches: Wrap the stitches or the entire area with plastic wrap or place it inside a plastic bag.
  2. Secure the Edges: Use waterproof medical tape or duct tape to secure the edges of the plastic, ensuring there are no gaps or loose ends.

Cost: Less than $5 for materials, assuming you already have these items at home.


  • Inexpensive and readily available materials.
  • Customizable to fit any wound size or location.


  • May not offer as robust a waterproof barrier as commercial protectors.
  • Requires careful application to ensure a watertight seal.

Applying Waterproof Bandages or Dressings

Overview: Waterproof bandages and dressings are designed to provide a barrier against moisture for smaller wounds or stitches.

Material: These bandages are made from a waterproof, breathable material that covers the wound while allowing air to circulate, promoting healing.

Cost: Typically ranges from $5 to $20 for a box, depending on the brand and quantity.


  • Easy to apply and remove.
  • Suitable for small wounds or stitches.


  • Not ideal for large wounds or areas that require flexibility.
  • The waterproof seal may break down over time or with extended exposure to water.
Mature woman recovering from a knee operation using water therapy

Additional Tips

  • Limit Swimming Time: Even with protection, try to limit the amount of time spent in the water to reduce the risk of water seeping through.
  • Check the Seal: Regularly check the seal of your waterproof cover or bandage to ensure it remains intact.
  • Aftercare: After swimming, gently dry the area around the stitches and inspect for any signs of moisture or infection.

For more detailed instructions on how to keep stitches dry while swimming, consider visiting specialized websites that offer expert advice and product recommendations.

By following these methods and considerations, you can effectively protect your stitches from water, ensuring a safe and enjoyable swimming experience.

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