Animal or human bite wounds need thorough cleaning to reduce the risk of infection and scarring and to promote healing. Try to stop the bleeding before cleaning the wound. Mild to moderate bleeding during the cleaning usually occurs. After cleaning, stop the bleeding by reapplying direct pressure and by elevating the wound. If the bleeding continues, see how to stop bleeding.
A visit to a health professional is needed if you are unable to clean the wound adequately because it:
If you are not going to see your health professional immediately, rinse the wound for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
Minor bite wounds can be cleaned at home.
Last Revised: June 10, 2010
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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