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Treatment for Human Bites

Human bites can easily become infected because of the great number of bacteria in the human mouth. Hands are the most common site for bites. A healthcare provider should check any human bite that breaks the skin.

What is the treatment for human bites?

Remain calm and reassure your child that you can help. Your child's healthcare provider will talk with you about specific treatment for a human bite. Treatment may include:

  • If the bite is bleeding, apply pressure to it with a clean bandage, cloth, or towel to stop the bleeding.

  • Wash the wound with soap and water under pressure from a faucet for at least 5 minutes. Don't scrub, as this may bruise the tissue.

  • Dry the wound and cover it with a sterile dressing. Don't use tape or butterfly bandages to close the wound. This could trap harmful bacteria in the wound.

  • Human bites are often treated with antibiotics to prevent infection. Call your child's healthcare provider to find out if they need additional treatment or a tetanus booster.

If either the biter or the person who was bitten has a chronic illness such as HIV or hepatitis B or C virus, both people may need to be tested to see what treatment is needed.

Online Medical Reviewer: Eric Perez MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Maryann Foley RN BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 4/1/2021
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