Human Bites: How To Manage It

Human bites are common and they tend to occur in any setting or any type of age. They can commonly occur on the face, hands, breasts or genitals.

Human bites can be as dangerous as or even more dangerous than animal bites and can often lead to infection. This is because of all the types of bacteria and viruses contained in a human mouth. 

The risk of infection is actually quite high, and can go on to cause things such as cellulitis if not appropriately treated. If you have a bite that has become infected, you may need medication or surgery.

Who is at risk?

  • Young children when they are curious, angry, or frustrated. Children and their caretakers are frequently at risk for bite wounds. 
  • Fighting can lead to bites in both children and adults, including skin that’s broken by a tooth during a punch to the mouth. 
  • You could accidentally get bite wounds as a result of a fall or collision.

How to know if the human bite is infected

  • If you have redness, swelling, and heat around the wound.
  • A wound that discharges pus.
  • Pain or tenderness on or around the wound.
  • If you have fever or chills.

You could have a mild, moderate, or severe bite.  You may have breaks in the skin, with or without blood. Bruising may also occur. Depending on the location of the bite, you might have injury to a joint or tendon.

First Aid Treatment:

  • You should clean the wound with antibacterial soap and warm salt water. It is best to put on gloves if available to reduce risk of transmitting any bacteria into the wound.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment, then bandage the area if necessary. Don’t try to close the wound with tape, as this may trap bacteria in the wound.
  • If the wound is bleeding, you should elevate that area and apply pressure to the wound using a clean cloth or towel.

It is often necessary to get the person to additional medical care. Especially if the wound becomes infected. Get the person to a doctor. He/she may prescribe a round of antibiotics to fight the bacterial infection. 

In addition, Certain wounds may require stiches such as those on the face, and surgery may be necessary if there’s damage to a tendon or joint.

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