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Home Health Library Human bites: First aid

Human bites: First aid

Whether they're accidental or on purpose, human bites can be as dangerous as or even more dangerous than animal bites because of the types of bacteria and viruses in the human mouth.

Overview

Human bites can be as dangerous as or even more dangerous than animal bites because of the types of bacteria and viruses in the human mouth. A human bite could be accidental or on purpose, with most bites due to another person. A human bite could arise when you cut your knuckles on another person's teeth, as might happen in a fight. Or it could be due to a cut on your knuckles from your teeth, such as from a fall. Human bites that break the skin can become infected.

Treatment

To take care of a human bite that breaks the skin:

  • Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Apply a clean bandage. Cover the affected area with a nonstick bandage.
  • Seek emergency medical care.

If you haven't had a tetanus shot within five years, your healthcare professional may recommend a booster. In this case, get the booster shot within 48 hours of the injury.

Last Updated: April 24th, 2024