Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > 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
Bites such as these should be evaluated by a health
professional, but they may not always need stitching.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMay 27, 2016
Current as of:
May 27, 2016
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.