Animal and Human Bites: When Stitches Are Needed
A bite injury may need to be closed by a health professional, may require antibiotic medicines, or both. The decision to close a wound with stitches, staples, or skin adhesive depends on:
It is important to determine if your wound needs to be closed by a health professional. Your risk of infection increases the longer the wound remains untreated. Most wounds that require treatment should be stitched, stapled, or closed with skin adhesives (also called liquid stitches) within 6 to 8 hours after the injury. Some wounds that require treatment can be closed as long as 24 hours after the injury. If stitches may be needed, avoid using an antiseptic or antibiotic ointment until after a health professional has examined the wound.
Treatment by a health professional is more likely to be needed for:
Bites such as these should be evaluated by a health professional, but they may not always need stitching.
Treatment by a health professional may not be needed for:
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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