Mayo Clinic Health Library

Human bites

Updated: 02-28-2012

Human bites can be as dangerous as or even more dangerous than animal bites because of the types of bacteria and viruses contained in the human mouth. If someone cuts his or her knuckles on another person's teeth, as might happen in a fight, this is also considered a human bite.

If you sustain a human bite that breaks the skin:

  1. Stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a clean, dry cloth.
  2. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water.
  3. Apply an antibiotic cream to prevent infection.
  4. Apply a clean bandage. Cover the affected area with a nonstick bandage.
  5. Seek emergency medical care.

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