What are the symptoms of a human bite?
Human bites are usually painful and leave bruises or teeth marks on your skin
Infected bites are painful, red, and swollen
If you punch someone in the mouth and get a cut on your knuckles, that's considered a human bite (a "fight bite")
"Fight bites" on the fist of a person who punches another person in the mouth usually leave a small, straight cut over a knuckle—if a finger tendon (tissue connecting the muscle and bone) is cut, you may have a hard time moving that finger
What problems can human bites cause?
Human bites usually cause only bruises and shallow cuts. However, if someone bites a small part, such as your ear, nose, finger, or penis, they can bite it off.
You're very unlikely to get HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection and AIDS The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a type of virus called a retrovirus. It causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), which is life-threatening. HIV is called an immunodeficiency... read more if you're bitten by someone with HIV—there isn't much HIV virus in saliva (spit)
You might get hepatitis Acute Hepatitis Hepatitis is inflammation (swelling) of your liver. An acute illness is one that comes on quickly and goes away quickly. Acute hepatitis sometimes becomes chronic hepatitis. A chronic illness... read more if you're bitten by someone who has the disease
“Fight bites” often become infected because mouth germs can become trapped deep inside your hand
What should I do if someone bites me?
You should quickly clean out your wound.
Clean your wound with lots of soap and water
Don't put alcohol, iodine, or any other kinds of antiseptics in your wound
See a doctor if the skin is broken open
If a body part is bitten off:
Wrap any bitten-off parts in a clean, damp towel
Put them in a plastic bag
Put that bag in another plastic bag with ice in it
Don't put body parts in water or directly on ice.
How do doctors treat a human bite?
If a human bite tears your skin, doctors will:
Flush out the bite area with sterile saline (germ-free salt water)
Clean your wound with soap and water
Sometimes, close the bite with stitches
Give you antibiotics to stop infection
If you have a fight bite that's infected, give you medicine through an IV (into your vein)
Your doctor will ask you questions about the person who bit you. Your answers may help the doctor decide whether you need medicine to prevent any diseases spread by biting.
Sometimes doctors can reattach a severed body part.