Animal and Human Bites - Home Treatment
Consider applying a bandage
Most bites heal well and
may not need a bandage. You may need to protect the bite from dirt and
irritation. Be sure to clean the bite thoroughly before bandaging it to
reduce the risk of infection occurring under the bandage.
- Select the bandage carefully. There are many
products available. Do not use liquid skin bandages and moisture-enhancing
bandages unless your doctor tells you to. These types of dressings may seal in
bacteria that could cause an infection.
- If you use a cloth-like
bandage, apply a clean bandage when your bandage gets wet or soiled. If a
bandage is stuck to a scab, soak it in warm water to soften the scab and make
the bandage easier to remove. If available, use a nonstick dressing. There are
many bandage products available. Be sure to read the product label for correct
- Watch for
signs of infection. If an infection develops under a
bandage, a visit to your doctor may be needed.
- An antibiotic
ointment, such as polymyxin B sulfate (for example, Polysporin) or bacitracin,
will keep the bandage from sticking to the wound. Apply the ointment lightly to
the wound. Antibiotic ointments have not been shown to improve healing. Be sure
to read the product label about skin sensitivity. If a skin rash or itching
under the bandage develops, stop using the ointment. The rash may be caused by
allergic reaction to the ointment.
- Use an
adhesive strip to hold the edges of a wound together. Always put an adhesive
strip across a wound to hold the edges together, not lengthwise. You can
make a butterfly bandage at home or purchase one to help hold the skin edges
- Determine whether you need a
- You may have a localized
reaction to a tetanus shot. Symptoms include warmth, swelling, and redness at
the injection site. A mild fever may occur. Home
treatment can help reduce the discomfort.
ice or cold pack may help reduce swelling and bruising. Never apply ice
directly to a wound or the skin. This could cause tissue damage.
Elevate the injured area on pillows while applying ice and anytime you
are sitting or lying down. Try to keep the area at or above the level of your
heart to reduce swelling.
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
| Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your fever or pain:|
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
| Be sure to follow
these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:|
- Carefully read and follow all
directions on the medicine bottle and box.
- Do not take more than
the recommended dose.
- Do not take a medicine if you have had an
allergic reaction to it in the past.
you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take
- If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other
than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to.
- Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.