Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is a human bite dangerous?"
Got into a stupid fight with my friend's brother and got a bad bite on my hand/finger. Is this dangerous? Are human bites really bad for you? The bite doesn't look too bad, kind of like a dog bite right now.
Human bite wounds may not seem dangerous, but the risk of infection is high. There are high levels of bacteria and different types of virus contained in human mouths that can turn a minor wound to a severe infection that can be hard to treat and move quickly to cause major complications. Do your bite wounds break the skin, like all puncture wounds? If so, there is a possibility of infection as well as injury to tendons, joints and nerves. If you have an infected human bite, you may need to be admitted to the hospital to receive antibiotics through a vein (intravenously). If you haven't had a tetanus shot within 5 years, your doctor may recommend a booster. In some cases, however, bites that do not break the skin may also cause damage to underlying tendons and joints. Bites where the skin is broken can transmit diseases that may even include the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the hepatitis B and C virus, and syphilis. As you can see, human bites can be as dangerous as or even more dangerous than animal bites. Therefore, early treatment within 24 hours is important if the skin is broken. I would recommend that you see a primary care physician soon to have the condition of your wounds evaluated and start treatment promptly.
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