Look at the wound to make sure a snake or
lizard tooth is not in the wound. If you can see a tooth, remove it with
tweezers, taking care to not push it farther into the wound.
the bite as soon as possible to reduce the chance of infection, scarring, and
tattooing of the skin from dirt left in the wound. Wash the wound for 5 minutes
with large amounts of warm water and soap (mild dishwashing soap, such as
Ivory, works well). See
how to clean a wound.
Do not use rubbing alcohol, hydrogen
peroxide, iodine, or Mercurochrome, which can harm the tissue and slow wound
Soak the wound in warm water for 20 minutes, 2 to 4 times
a day, for the next 4 to 5 days. The warmth from the water will increase the
blood flow to the area, which helps reduce the chance of
Puncture wounds usually heal well and may not need a
bandage. You may want to use a bandage if you think the bite will get dirty or
Clean the wound thoroughly before putting
the bandage on it.
Apply a clean bandage when it gets wet or
soiled. If a bandage is stuck to a scab, soak it in warm water to soften the
scab and make the bandage easier to remove.
If available, use a
nonstick dressing. There are many bandage products available.
sure to read the product label for correct use.
Use of an antibiotic ointment has not been shown
to affect healing. If you choose to use an antibiotic ointment, such as
polymyxin B sulfate (for example, Polysporin) or bacitracin, apply the ointment
lightly to the wound. The ointment will keep the bandage from sticking to the
wound. If a skin rash or itching under the bandage develops, stop using the
ointment. The rash may be caused by an allergic reaction to the