Human Bites Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on January 19, 2020

Call 911 if:

  • A human bite causes serious injury.
  • The wound will not stop bleeding after 10 minutes of firm pressure.
  • Blood spurts from the wound.

1. Stop Bleeding

  • Apply firm, direct pressure with sterile gauze or clean cloth until bleeding stops.

2. Clean and Protect

  • Clean the wound with mild soap and water. Rinse for several minutes under running water.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Cover the wound with a gauze or bandage.

3. Get Medical Help

  • See a health care provider about any human bite that has broken the skin, because there is a high risk of infection. Signs of infection include redness, pain, swelling, or pus. 
  • Tell the health care provider if the person has stiffness, lack of mobility, or numbness in the area. There may be damage to tendons or nerves.
  • Deeper bite wounds may require stitches.
  • The health care provider may give a tetanus shot or booster.